Concept

Tetraethylammonium

Summary
Tetraethylammonium (TEA) is a quaternary ammonium cation with the chemical formula , consisting of four ethyl groups (, denoted Et) attached to a central nitrogen atom. It is a counterion used in the research laboratory to prepare lipophilic salts of inorganic anions. It is used similarly to tetrabutylammonium, the difference being that its salts are less lipophilic, more easily crystallized and more toxic. Preparation The chloride salt is prepared by the reaction of triethylamine and an ethyl halide: :Et3N + EtX -> Et4N+X- This method works well for the preparation of tetraethylammonium iodide (where X = I). Most tetraethylammonium salts are prepared by salt metathesis reactions. For example, the synthesis of tetraethylammonium perchlorate, a salt that has been useful as a supporting electrolyte for polarographic studies in non-aqueous solvents, is carried out by mixing the water-soluble salts tetraethylammonium bromide and sodium perchlorate in water, from which the water
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