Synlett 2007(1): 0173-0174  
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-958426
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Tributyltin Hydride (Bu3SnH)

Arumugam Jayanthi*
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001, USA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
20 December 2006 (online)


The realization of compatibility of radical methods with a range of functional groups without further protection has led to an increased interest in the use of radicals in organic synthesis. Bu3SnH is a well-known radical reagent because of its relatively weak and nonionic bond interaction between tin and hydrogen that can be cleaved homolytically. [1] Thus it has been explored extensively in reductive cleavage, [2a] radical dehalogenation, deoxygenation [2b] and intramolecular radical cyclization [2c] as well as in the synthesis of various heterocyclic compounds, natural products and many pharmaceutically important drugs. [2d-j]

Bu3SnH is commercially available as a colourless liquid and can be stored under refrigeration. It can be prepared via reduction of tributyltin oxide with hydrosiloxane. [3a] It can also be generated easily in situ by the action of NaBH4 or Et3SiH on Bu3SnCl. [1] [3b]

The problems associated with this reagent are that it is highly toxic and removal of tin impurities from the product is often very difficult. This has been overcome recently by using a mixture of KF and silica gel as the stationary phase in column chromatography to reduce the level of tin impurities in the product to 30 ppm. [3c]


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