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Azulene is used as an additive in ointments. It is an active ingredient in cosmetics, shaving creams and other topicals. It is used as antioxidant and in anti-inflammatory activities. It is involved in the colorimetric determination of furfural. It acts as ligand for low valent metals and forms pi complexes with both cyclopentadienyl and cylcloheptatrienyl ligands in organometallic chemistry. It is also used as precursor for the preparation of (azulene)Mo2 (CO)6 and (azulene)Fe2 (CO)5.
Interesting non-alternant hydrocarbon, isoelectronic with naphthalene.
Readily undergoes electrophilic substitution at the 1-position of the five-membered ring; e.g. formylation with triethyl orthoformate and boron trifluoride etherate: Tetrahedron Lett ., 4707 (1967), and Friedel-Crafts acylation without a catalyst, using either trichloro- or trifluoroacetic anhydride: J. Org. Chem., 27, 3578 (1962).
Nucleophilic substitution occurs at the 4- and 6-positions of the 7-membered ring: Liebigs Ann. Chem., 1222 (1986). For a review of azulene chemistry, see: Russ. Chem. Rev., 46, 530 (1977).
Shao, J.; Korendovych, I. V.; Broos, J. Biosynthetic incorporation of the azulene moiety in proteins with high efficiency. Amino Acids 2015, 47 (1), 213-216.
Tang, T.; Lin, T.; Wang, F.; He. C. Origin of Near-Infrared Absorption for Azulene-Containing Conjugated Polymers upon Protonation or Oxidation. J. Phys. Chem. B 2015, 119 (25), 8176-8183.