What Is "CN" in Chemistry?

In chemistry, "CN" refers to a carbon atom attached to a nitrogen atom with a triple bond to produce a cyanide ion. Although many compounds containing cyanide are extremely deadly and exist in the form of a colorless gas, some compounds are not dangerous and have practical applications.

Cyanide is found in cigarette smoke and is a product of the burning of synthetic materials such as plastic. Cyanide is also used in the manufacturing of plastics, textiles and paper. Its salts are used in the electroplating of metals as well as in the removal and processing of gold from its ore. Treatment of cyanide poisoning requires using antidotes and supplementary medical care in a hospital setting. The treatment is most effective if given shortly after exposure.