In Perkin's reaction, an aromatic aldehyde reacts with an acid anhydride to give an alpha-beta unsaturated aromatic acid. Which reactant is the electrophile and which one is the nucleophile?

  • $\begingroup$ Google is your friend! If you search "Perkin Reaction Mechanism" you will find your answer $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Feb 22, 2021 at 7:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Waylander I did but I couldn't really get the answer to my question $\endgroup$
    – sam
    Feb 22, 2021 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


The reaction mechanism shown on the Wikipedia page for the Perkin Reaction is perfectly clear.

mechanism of perkin reaction from wikipedia

The first step is deprotonation of acetic anhydride by acetate anion. The second step is nucleophilic attack by the anion of acetic anhydride on the aromatic aldehyde; thus the aldehyde is the electrophile.


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