Desulfurization of aromatic polysulfides with triphenylphosphine

Eli Zysman-Colman, Patrick G. Farrell, David N. Harpp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The room temperature reaction of bis(4-methylbenzene) di- (3), tri- (4) and tetrasulfide (5) with triphenylphosphine has been followed by 1H NMR. Mechanistic aspects of the cleavage of 3 and the desulfurization of 4 and 5, with concomitant formation of triphenylphosphine sulfide, are discussed. While tetrasulfide 5 is desulfurized over 10× faster than trisulfide 4, preliminary experiments indicate that 5 is not sufficiently reactive to efficiently transfer a sulfur atom to oligodeoxyribonucleotides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sulfur Chemistry
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004


  • Desulfurization
  • Disulfides
  • Tetrasulfides
  • Triphenylphosphine
  • Trisulfides


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