Ball-and-stick model of the phenanthrene molecule
Phenanthrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon composed of three fused benzene rings. The name 'phenanthrene' is a composite of phenyl and anthracene. In its pure form, it is found in cigarette smoke and is a known irritant, photosensitizing skin to light. Phenanthrene appears as a white powder having blue fluorescence.

The compound with a phenanthrene skeleton and nitrogens at the 4 and 5 positions is known as phenanthroline.

Phenanthrene is nearly insoluble in water but is soluble in most low polarity organic solvents such as toluene, carbon tetrachloride, ether, chloroform, acetic acid and benzene.

The Bardhan–Sengupta phenanthrene synthesis is a classic way to make phenanthrenes.

This process involves electrophilic aromatic substitution using a tethered cyclohexanol group using diphosphorus pentoxide, which closes the central ring onto an existing aromatic ring. Dehydrogenation using selenium converts the other rings into aromatic ones as well. The aromatization of six-membered rings by selenium is not clearly understood, but it does produce H2Se.

Phenanthrene can also be obtained photochemically from certain diarylethenes.

This page was last edited on 15 January 2017, at 07:03 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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