The diazo-amines, R·N:N·NHR, are obtained by the action of primary amines on diazonium salts; by the action of nitrous acid on a free primary amine, an iso-diazohydroxide being formed as an intermediate product which then condenses with the amine; and by the action of nitrosamines on primary amines. They are crystalline solids, usually of a yellow colour, which do not unite with acids; they are readily converted into amino-azo compounds (see above) and are decomposed by the concentrated halogen acids, yielding haloid benzenes, nitrogen and an amine. Acid anhydrides replace the imino-hydrogen atom by acidyl radicals, and boiling with water converts them into phenols. They combine with phenyl isocyanate to form urea derivatives (H. Goldschmidt, Ber., 1888, 21, p. 2578), and on reduction with zinc dust (preferably in alcoholic acetic acid solution) they yield usually a hydrazine and an amine. Diazoamino benzene, CH·N:N·NHCH, was first obtained by P. Griess (Ann., 1862, 121, p. 258). It crystallizes in yellow laminae, which melt at 96° C. and explode at slightly higher temperatures.
It is readily soluble in alcohol, ether and benzene.
Diazoimino benzene, CHN, is also known. It may be prepared by the action of ammonia on diazobenzene perbromide; by the action of hydroxylamine on a diazonium sulphate (K. Heumann and L. Oeconomides, Ber., 1887, 20, p. 372); and by the action of phenylhydrazine on a diazonium sulphate. It is a yellow oil which boils at 59° C. (12 mm.), and possesses a stupefying odour. It explodes when heated. Hydrochloric acid converts it into chloraniline, nitrogen being eliminated; whilst boiling sulphuric acid converts it into aminophenol.
Azoxy Compounds, R·N·O·N·R′, are usually yellow or red crystalline solids which result from the reduction of nitro or nitroso compounds by heating them with alcoholic potash (preferably using methyl alcohol). They may also be obtained by the oxidation of azo compounds. When reduced (in acid solution) they yield amines; distillation with reduced iron gives azo compounds, and warming with ammonium sulphide gives hydrazo compounds. Concentrated sulphuric acid converts azoxybenzene into oxyazobenzene (O. Wallach, Ber., 1880, 13, p. 525). Azoxybenzene, (CHN)O, crystallizes from alcohol in yellow needles, which melt at 36° C. On distillation, it yields aniline and azobenzene. Azoxybenzene is also found among the electro-reduction products of nitrobenzene, when the reduction is carried out in alcoholic-alkaline solution.
The mixed azo compounds are those in which the azo group ·N:N· is united with an aromatic radical on the one hand, and with a radical of the aliphatic series on the other. The most easily obtained mixed azo compounds are those formed by the union of a diazonium salt with the potassium or sodium salt of a nitroparaffin (V. Meyer, Ber., 1876, 9, p. 384):
CHN·NO + CH·CH(NO)K = KNO + CHN·CH(NO)CH.
Those not containing a nitro group may be prepared by the oxidation of the corresponding mixed hydrazo compounds with mercuric oxide. E. Bamberger (Ber., 1898, 31, p. 455) has shown that the nitro-alkyl derivatives behave as though they possess the constitution of hydrazones, for on heating with dilute alkalies they split more or less readily into an alkaline nitrite and an acid hydrazide:
CHNH·N:C(NO)CH + NaOH = NaNO + CHNH·NH·CO·CH.
Benzene-azo-methane, CH·N·CH, is a yellow oil which boils at 150° C. and is readily volatile in steam. Benzene-azo-ethane, CH·N·CH, is a yellow oil which boils at about 180° C. with more or less decomposition. On standing with 60% sulphuric acid for some time, it is converted into the isomeric acetaldehyde-phenylhydrazone, CHNH·N:CH·CH (Ber., 1896, 29, p. 794).
The diazo cyanides, CHN·CN, and carboxylic acids, CH·N·COOH, may also be considered as mixed azo derivatives. Diazobenzenecyanide, CHN·CN, is an unstable oil, formed when potassium cyanide is added to a solution of a diazonium salt. Phenyl-azo-carboxylic acid, CH·N·COOH, is obtained in the form of its potassium salt when phenylsemicarbazide is oxidized with potassium permanganate in alkaline solution (J. Thiele, Ber., 1895, 28, p. 2600). It crystallizes in orange-red needles and is decomposed by water. The corresponding amide, phenyl-azo-carbonamide, CHN·CONH, also results from the oxidation of phenylsemicarbazide (Thiele, loc. cit.), and forms reddish-yellow needles which melt at 114° C. When heated with benzaldehyde to 120° C. it yields diphenyloxytriazole, (CH)CNC(OH).