Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 110, 2014
Previous Article Next Article

Study on the Atherton–Todd reaction mechanism

Author affiliations


A new mechanism of the Atherton–Todd reaction is discussed. The first step of the reaction between diesters of H-phosphonic acid and carbon tetrachloride in the presence of a base, commonly triethylamine, is a salt formation between carbon tetrachloride and the base [amine·Cl]+CCl3. The trichloromethanide anion [CCl3] deprotonates dialkyl H-phosphonate to form chloroform and dialkyl phosphonate anion [(RO)2P(O)]. The latter anion reacts with the chlorine cation to furnish dialkyl chlorophosphate. Based on these findings the reaction has been applied for the oxidation of poly(alkylene H-phosphonate)s to the corresponding poly(alkylene chlorophosphate)s via the Atherton–Todd reaction.

Graphical abstract: Study on the Atherton–Todd reaction mechanism

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 11 Sep 2014, accepted on 14 Nov 2014 and first published on 14 Nov 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA10228B
Author version
Download author version (PDF)
RSC Adv., 2014,4, 64733-64736

  •   Request permissions

    Study on the Atherton–Todd reaction mechanism

    V. Mitova, N. Koseva and K. Troev, RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 64733
    DOI: 10.1039/C4RA10228B

Search articles by author