General structure of oximes.svg

An oxime is a chemical compound belonging to the imines, with the general formula R1R2C=NOH, where R1 is an organic side chain and R2 may be hydrogen, forming an aldoxime, or another organic group, forming a ketoxime. O-substituted oximes form a closely related family of compounds. Amidoximes are oximes of hemiaminals with general structure RC(=NOH)(NRR'). Certain amidoximes react with benzenesulfonyl chloride to substituted ureas in the Tiemann rearrangement [1][2]

Oximes are usually generated by the reaction of hydroxylamine and aldehydes or ketones. The term oxime dates back to the 19th century, a portmanteau of the words oxygen and imide[citation needed].


Structure and properties

Oximes exist as two geometric stereoisomers: a syn isomer and an anti isomer. Aldoximes, except for aromatic aldoximes, exist only as a syn isomer, while ketoximes can be separated almost completely and obtained as a syn isomer and an anti isomer.

Oximes have three characteristic bands in the infrared spectrum, at wavenumbers 3600 (O-H), 1665 (C=N) and 945 (N-O).[3]


Oximes can be synthesized by condensation of an aldehyde or a ketone with hydroxylamine. The condensation of aldehydes with hydroxylamine gives aldoxime, and ketoxime is produced from ketones and hydroxylamine. Generally, oximes exist as colorless crystals and are poorly soluble in water. Therefore, oximes can be used for the identification of ketone or aldehyde.

Oximes can also be obtained from reaction of nitrites such as isoamyl nitrite with compounds containing an acidic hydrogen atom. Examples are the reaction of ethyl acetoacetate and sodium nitrite in acetic acid,[4][5] the reaction of methyl ethyl ketone with ethyl nitrite in hydrochloric acid.[6] and a similar reaction with propiophenone,[7] the reaction of phenacyl chloride,[8] the reaction of malononitrile with sodium nitrite in acetic acid[9]

A conceptually related reaction is the Japp-Klingemann reaction.


The hydrolysis of oximes proceeds easily by heating in the presence of various inorganic acids, and the oximes decompose into the corresponding ketones or aldehydes, and hydroxylamines. The reduction of oximes by sodium amalgam or hydrogenation produces amines. The reduction of aldoximes gives both primary amines and secondary amines.

Generally oximes can be changed to the corresponding amide derivatives by treatment with various acids. This reaction is called Beckmann rearrangement. In this reaction, a hydroxyl group is exchanged with the group that is in the anti position of the hydroxyl group. The amide derivatives that are obtained by Beckmann rearrangement can be transformed into a carboxylic acid by means of hydrolysis (base or acid catalyzed).And an amine by hoffman degradation of the amide in the presence of alkali hypoclorites at 80 degrees Celsius, the degradation is itself prone to side reactions namely, the formation of biurets or, cyanate polymers, To avoid this side reaction strict temperature control is necessary, the reaction must be conducted at sufficient temperature to isomerise the cyanate to the isocyante. also, good solvation is also crucial to be successful. Beckmann rearrangement is used for the industrial synthesis of caprolactam (see applications below).

The Ponzio reaction (1906) [10] concerning the conversion of m-nitrobenzaldoxime to m-nitrophenyldinitromethane with dinitrogen tetroxide, was the result of research into TNT-like high explosives:[11]

Ponzio reaction

In the Neber rearrangement certain oximes are converted to the corresponding alpha-amino ketones.


In their largest application, an oxime is an intermediate in the industrial production of caprolactam, a precursor to Nylon 6. About half of the world's supply of cyclohexanone, more than a billion kilograms annually, is converted to the oxime. In the presence of sulfuric acid catalyst, the oxime undergoes the Beckmann rearrangement to give the cyclic amide caprolactam:

Caprolactam Synth.png

Other applications

Dimethylglyoxime (dmgH2) is a reagent for the analysis of nickel and a popular ligand in its own right. Typically a metal reacts with two equivalents of dmgH2 concomitant with ionization of one proton.

Figure. Structure of Ni(dmgH)2.

Oxime compounds are used as antidotes for nerve agents. A nerve agent inactivates acetylcholinesterase molecules by phosphorylation of the molecule. Oxime compounds can reactivate acetylcholinesterate by attaching to the phosphorus atom and forming an oxime-phosphonate which then splits away from the acetylcholinesterase molecule. The most effective oxime nerve-agent antidotes are pralidoxime (also known as 2-PAM), obidoxime, methoxime, HI-6, Hlo-7, and TMB-4.[12] The effectiveness of the oxime treatment depends on the particular nerve agent used.[13] Perillartine, the oxime of perillaldehyde is used as an artificial sweetener in Japan, as it is 2000 times sweeter than sucrose. Salicylaldoxime is a chelator. Glyoxime, produced via the condensation of glyoxal with hydroxylamine,[14] forms highly energetic copper, lead and silver salts (copper, lead and silver glyoximate respectively).[15] However these compounds are too unstable to be of any commercial value. Diaminoglyoxime, a glyoxime derivative, is a key synthetic precursor, used to prepare various compounds, containing the highly reactive furazan ring.

Methyl Ethyl Ketoxime is a skin-preventing additive in many oil-based paints.


  1. ^ Ferdinand Tiemann (1891). "Ueber die Einwirkung von Benzolsulfonsäurechlorid auf Amidoxime". Chemische Berichte 24: 4162–4167. doi:10.1002/cber.189102402316. 
  2. ^ Robert Plapinger, Omer Owens (1956). "Notes - The Reaction of Phosphorus-Containing Enzyme Inhibitors with Some Hydroxylamine Derivatives". J. Org. Chem. 21: 1186. doi:10.1021/jo01116a610. 
  3. ^ W. Reusch. "Infrared Spectroscopy". Virtual Textbook of Organic Chemistry. Michigan State University. http://www.cem.msu.edu/~reusch/VirtTxtJml/Spectrpy/InfraRed/infrared.htm. 
  4. ^ Hans Fischer (1943), "2,4-Dimethyl-3,5-dicarbethoxypyrrole", Org. Synth., http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/orgsyn/prepContent.asp?prep=cv2p0202 ; Coll. Vol. 2: 202 
  5. ^ Hans Fischer (1955), "Kryptopyrrole", Org. Synth., http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/orgsyn/prepContent.asp?prep=cv3p0513 ; Coll. Vol. 3: 513 
  6. ^ W. L. Semon and V. R. Damerell (1943), "Dimethoxyglyoxime", Org. Synth., http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/orgsyn/prepContent.asp?prep=cv2p0204 ; Coll. Vol. 2: 204 
  7. ^ Walter H. Hartung and Frank Crossley (1943), "Isonitrosopropiophenone", Org. Synth., http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/orgsyn/prepContent.asp?prep=cv2p0363 ; Coll. Vol. 2: 363 
  8. ^ Nathan Levin and Walter H. Hartung (1955), "ω-chloroisonitrosoacetophenone", Org. Synth., http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/orgsyn/prepContent.asp?prep=cv3p0191 ; Coll. Vol. 3: 191 
  9. ^ J. P. Ferris, R. A. Sanchez, and R. W. Mancuso (1973), "p-toluenesulfonate", Org. Synth., http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/orgsyn/prepContent.asp?prep=cv5p0032 ; Coll. Vol. 5: 32 
  10. ^ Giacomo Ponzio (1906). "Einwirkung von Stickstofftetroxyd auf Benzaldoxim". J. Prakt. Chem. 73: 494. doi:10.1002/prac.19060730133. 
  11. ^ Louis F. Fieser and William von E. Doering (1946). "Aromatic-Aliphatic Nitro Compounds. III. The Ponzio Reaction; 2,4,6-Trinitrobenzyl Nitrate". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 68: 2252. doi:10.1021/ja01215a040. 
  12. ^ Aaron Rowe (2007-11-27), New Nerve Gas Antidotes, Wired (magazine), http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/11/building-a-bett.html 
  13. ^ Kassa, J. (2002). "Review of oximes in the antidotal treatment of poisoning by organophosphorus nerve agents". Journal of Toxicology — Clinical Toxicology 40: 803. doi:10.1081/CLT-120015840. 
  14. ^ Michelman, J; Michelman, J. S. (1965). "Furazan". Journal of Organic Chemistry 30: 1854–1859. doi:10.1021/jo01017a034. 
  15. ^ Urben, Peter (1999). Bretherick's Handobook of Reactive Chemical Hazards. 1 (5 ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 799. 

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  • oxime — oxime …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • oxime — [ ɔksim ] n. f. • 1890; t. créé en all. 1882; de ox(y) et ime « imide » ♦ Chim. Composé contenant le groupement =N OH et formé par élimination d eau entre l hydroxylamine et un aldéhyde ou une cétone. ● oxime nom féminin Nom générique des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Oxime —   [Kurzwort], organische Verbindungen mit der allgemeinen Formel RR C=N OH (R und R Alkyl oder Arylrest beziehungsweise Wasserstoff; chemisch Isonitrosoverbindungen), die unter Abspaltung von Wasser aus Aldehyden (Aldoxime) oder Ketonen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Oxime — Ox ime, n. (Chem.) One of a series of isonitroso derivatives obtained by the action of hydroxylamine on aldehydes or ketones. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Oxime — (Isonitrosoverbindungen), organische Verbindungen, welche die Oximidgruppe (Isonitrosogruppe) N(OH) enthalten. Sie entstehen bei Einwirkung von salpetriger Säure oder Hydroxylamin auf Aldehyde oder Ketone, und man unterscheidet da nach Aldoxime… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • oxime — [äk′sēm΄, äk′sim] n. [< OX + IM(IDE)] any of a series of compounds formed by the action of hydroxylamine on an aldehyde or ketone, in which the oxygen atom of the CHO group of the aldehyde, or of the CO group of the ketone, is replaced by… …   English World dictionary

  • Oxime — Allgemeine Formel und Isomerie der Ketoxime: Symmetrisches Ketoxin (links), unsymmetrische Ketoxime (Mitte und rechts). Im (E) Ketoxim (Mitte) und im (Z) Ketoxim (rechts) hat R1 dabei eine höhere CIP Priorität als R2. Die Oximgruppe ist blau… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oxime — Un oxime est une imine (composé organique azoté) dont l un des atomes de carbone possède un groupement oxime défini par la séquence suivante : Synthèse à partir de cétone et hydroxylamine (cétoxime) ou aldéhyde et hydroxylamine (aldoxime)… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • oxime — /ˈɒksim/ (say okseem) noun any of a group of compounds with the radical :C:NOH (oxime group or oxime radical), prepared by the reaction of ketones or aldehydes with hydroxylamine. {ox(ygen) + im(id)e} …   Australian-English dictionary

  • oxime — /ok seem, sim/, n. Chem. any of a group of compounds containing the group > C=NOH, produced by the condensation of ketones or aldehydes with hydroxylamine. [1890 95; OX(YGEN) + IM(ID)E] * * * ▪ chemical compound       any of a class of nitrogen… …   Universalium

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