The Gabriel synthesis uses phthalimide, a base, an alkyl halide, and hydrazine to make a 1° amine in a two-step process. First phthalimide is alkylated with an alkyl halide via an SN2 reaction, forming N-alkylphthalimide. Next, hydrazine attacks a carbonyl group of N-alkylphthalimide, resulting in the ring opening, followed by a proton transfer, and intramolecular attack of the other carbonyl by hydrazine’s terminal nitrogen to form a tetrahedral intermediate. A final proton transfer and breakdown of the tetrahedral intermediate gives the desired 1° amine and a cyclic phthalhydrazide by-product.

  • Reagents: Acid, Base or Hydrazine/Solvent (e.g. MeOH)
  • Reactant: Alkyl Halide, Phthalimide or Potassium Phthalimide
  • Product: 1° Amine
  • Type of Reaction: SN2, Nucleophilic Addition of Hydrazine


Top Citations

Original Paper

Related Reactions

  • Delépine Reaction
  • Eschweiler-Clarke Reaction
  • Staudinger Reaction
  • Synthesis of Primary Amines

Related Compounds

  • Phthalidamide (CAS85-41-6)
  • Hydrazine (CAS 302-01-2)
  • Acid
  • Base
By shuhan yang


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