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The class of organic compounds with a NO group in their molecular structure are called nitroso compounds. The properties of nitroso compounds depend on the type of atom to which the NO group is attached and hence categorized as C-nitroso compounds (e.g., nitrosoalkanes: R-N=O and nitrosoarenes: Ar-N=O), S-nitroso compounds (nitrosothiols; RS-N=O), N-nitroso compounds (e.g., nitrosamines, R1N(-R2)-N=O), and O-nitroso compounds (alkyl nitrites; RO-N=O). Fischer-Hepp rearrangement and Barton reaction are the two useful transformations in organic synthesis that involve nitroso compounds.
Nitroso compounds are used in several chemical reactions and in chemical industries for various purposes. Organonitroso compounds are used as ligands for synthesizing transition metal complexes. Nitroso compounds such as nitrosodimethylaniline and the nitrosophenols are usually blue or green in color and are used in the manufacture of dyes. The nitroso derivatives of amides (N-nitroso compounds) decompose when heating with the formation of nitrogen and hence they are used as foam producing agents in industries. A comprehensive review on chemistry of nitric oxide (NO donors) releasing substances, which includes aryl-, alkyl-, and acyl C-nitroso compounds, N-nitroso compounds, and S-nitrosothiols, has been reported (Nitric Oxide Donors: for Pharmaceutical and Biological Applications. Wang, P. et al., ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2005, 390 pp).