Cymene

Cymene

[sahy-meen]
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Cymene, or p-cymene, is a naturally occurring aromatic organic compound. It is classified as a hydrocarbon related to a monoterpene. Its structure consists of a benzene ring para-substituted with a methyl group and an isopropyl group. It is insoluble in water, but miscible with ethanol and ether.

Cymene is a constituent of a number of essential oils, most commonly the oil of cumin and thyme.

There are two less common geometric isomers. o-Cymene, in which the alkyl groups are ortho-substituted, and m-cymene, in which they are meta-substituted. p-Cymene is the only natural isomer.

Cymene is a common ligand for ruthenium. The parent compound is [(η6-cymene)MCl2]2. This half-sandwich compound is prepared by the reaction of ruthenium trichloride with the terpene α-phellandrene. The osmium complex is also known.

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