Why is Hünig's base called "N,N-Diisopropylethylamine" on Wikipedia, in the name DIPEA, as well as vendors like Sigma-Aldrich, rather than ""N,N-Ethyldiisopropylamine" (EDIPA)?

I thought these groups were named alphabetically?


1 Answer 1


'Ethyl' here is not a substituent; rather, 'ethylamine' is the name of the parent compound $\ce{CH3CH2NH2}$ (much like 'ethanol' is $\ce{CH3CH2OH}$). Notice that it isn't assigned a locant N in the same way that the isopropyl groups are.

So, there is no alphabetisation to speak of: there is only one substituent prefix, which is 'diisopropyl'.

A related question would be why 'ethylamine' is the parent compound, as opposed to 'isopropylamine', '2-propylamine', or to be precise, 'propan-2-amine'. In fact the preferred IUPAC name does use 'propan-2-amine' as the parent compound: it is 'N-ethyl-N-(propan-2-yl)propan-2-amine'.

Obviously, this is a mouthful, and in common usage the 'incorrect' but 'symmetrical' name N,N-diisopropylethylamine has prevailed.


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