Synthetic derivatives of mauveine

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Oxidation of phenosafranin and an excess of aniline gave a novel hydroxylated derivative of pseudo-mauveine. N-Methyl-p-toluidine and bis(4-methylphenyl)amine are efficient building blocks for making mauveine-related chromophores. Their oxidation with K2Cr2O7 is believed to form nitrogen centred radicals which then couple with an aromatic amine by homolytic aromatic substitution of hydrogen. The N-methyl substituent and the p-methyl sub-stituents are essential for the reaction to proceed. N-Methyl substituted chromophores were not demethylated in the reaction or by oxidation with K2Cr2O7 in dilute H2SO4. N-Nitroso-bis(4-methylphenyl)amine rearranges smoothly to the orange compound, (2-nitro-4-methylphenyl)-4-methylphenylamine, when a solution in CH2Cl2 is treated with montmorillonite at room temperature for 24 h. 2,4-Dimethylaniline has been used to make a mauveine homologue. The colour of silk dyed with mauveine chromophores has been compared to the colour of silk dyed with authentic 1862 mauveine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-434
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • mauve
  • mauveine
  • montmorillonite
  • N-methyl-p-toluidine
  • n-phenyl-p-phenylediamine
  • Perkin


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