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(organic chemistry)
C6H5NO2 An indole substituted with oxygen at carbon position 2 and 3; crystallizes as red needles that are soluble in hot water; used in dye manufacture.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a heterocyclic compound; yellowish red crystals. Melting point 203.5°C. Characterized by tautomerism, isatin exists both in the lactam (I) and lactim (II) forms:

Isatin is soluble in acetone, benzene, methanol, and hot water. It exhibits mild acidic and basic properties, correspondingly forming salts with acids and bases. It is readily acylated, alkylated, nitrated, halogenated, sulfonated, and so forth.

Isatin can be obtained from aniline, by oxidation of indigo, and by other methods.

Isatin and some of its derivatives are valuable intermediates in the manufacture of indigoid vat dyes; it is also used for the detection and photometric determination of thiophene in benzene (so-called indophenine reaction), pyrrole, and mercaptans in air and for the detection of Cu and Ag. Isatin-β3-oxime, a product of the interaction of isatin with hydroxylamine, is used for the detection and determination of U and for the detection of Ag, Co, and many other elements.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.