Tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ)
Tetracyanoquinodimethane Formula V.1.svg
Ball-and-stick model of the tetracyanoquinodimethane molecule
Sample of TCNQ
Preferred IUPAC name
Other names
-dimalononitrile, 7,7,8,8-Tetracyanoquinodimethane
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.014.704 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 216-174-8
  • InChI=1S/C12H4N4/c13-5-11(6-14)9-1-2-10(4-3-9)12(7-15)8-16/h1-4H checkY
  • InChI=1S/C12H4N4/c13-5-11(6-14)9-1-2-10(4-3-9)12(7-15)8-16/h1-4H
  • c1cc(=C(C#N)C#N)ccc1=C(C#N)C#N
Molar mass 204.19 g/mol
Appearance green colored powder or orange crystals
Melting point 293.5 to 296 °C (560.3 to 564.8 °F; 566.6 to 569.1 K)
Boiling point sublimes
GHS labelling:[1]
GHS06: ToxicGHS07: Exclamation mark
H302, H311, H312, H331
P261, P264, P270, P271, P280, P301+P310, P301+P312, P302+P352, P304+P312, P304+P340, P311, P312, P321, P322, P330, P361, P363, P403+P233, P405, P501
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ) is the organic compound with the formula (NC)2CC6H4C(CN)2. This cyanocarbon, a relative of para-quinone, is an electron acceptor that is used to prepare charge transfer salts, which are of interest in molecular electronics.

Preparation and structure[]

TCNQ is prepared by the condensation of 1,4-cyclohexanedione with malononitrile, followed by dehydrogenation of the resulting diene with bromine:[2]

C6H8O2 + 2 CH2(CN)2 → C6H8(C(CN)2)2 + 2 H2O
C6H8(C(CN)2)2 + 2 Br2 → C6H4(C(CN)2)2 + 4 HBr

The molecule is planar, with D2h symmetry.[3]


Like tetracyanoethylene (TCNE), TCNQ is easily reduced to give a blue-coloured radical anion. The reduction potential is about −0.3 V relative to the ferrocene/ferrocenium couple. This property is exploited in the development of charge transfer salts. TCNQ also forms complexes with electron-rich metal complexes.[4]

Charge transfer salts[]

TCNQ achieved great attention because it forms charge-transfer salts with high electrical conductivity. These discoveries were influential in the development of organic electronics. Illustrative is the product from treatment of TCNQ with the electron donor tetrathiafulvene (TTF), TCNQ forms an ion pair, the TTF-TCNQ complex, in which TCNQ is the acceptor. This salt crystallizes in a one-dimensionally stacked polymer, consisting of segregated stacks of cations and anions of the donors and the acceptors, respectively. The complex crystal is an organic semiconductor that exhibits metallic electric conductivity.[5]

Related compounds[]


  1. ^ "7,7,8,8-Tetracyanoquinodimethane". pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  2. ^ Acker, Donald S.; Hertler, Walter R. (1962). "Substituted Quinodimethans. I. Preparation and Chemistry of 7,7,8,8-Tetracyanoquinodimethan". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 84 (17): 3370. doi:10.1021/ja00876a028.
  3. ^ Long, Robert E.; Sparks, Robert A.; Trueblood, Kenneth N. (1965). "The crystal and molecular structure of 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane". Acta Crystallographica. 18 (5): 932. doi:10.1107/S0365110X65002256.
  4. ^ Kaim, Wolfgang; Moscherosch, Michael (1994). "The coordination chemistry of TCNE, TCNQ and related polynitrile π acceptors". Coordination Chemistry Reviews. 129 (1–2): 157–193. doi:10.1016/0010-8545(94)85020-8.
  5. ^ Torrance, Jerry B. (1979). "The difference between metallic and insulating salts of tetracyanoquinodimethone (TCNQ): how to design an organic metal". Accounts of Chemical Research. 12 (3): 79–86. doi:10.1021/ar50135a001.