Wamser, Carl C. Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.
Bradic, Zdravko Department of Chemistry, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Organic Reactions
- Free radicals
- Radical ions
- Tetrahedral intermediates
- Excited states
- Other types
- Inorganic Reactions
- Inorganic radicals and radical ions
- Metal intermediates: oxidation-reduction
- Metal intermediates: substitution and homogeneous catalysis
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Unstable compounds that are formed as necessary intermediate stages during a chemical reaction. Thus, if a reaction in which A is converted to B requires that A first be converted to C, then C is an intermediate in the reaction (A → C → B). The term reactive further implies a certain degree of instability of the intermediate; reactive intermediates are typically isolable only under special conditions, and most of the information regarding the structure and properties of reactive intermediates comes from indirect experimental evidence.
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