Ball-and-stick model
Preferred IUPAC name
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
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  • InChI=1S/C10H6O2/c11-9-5-6-10(12)8-4-2-1-3-7(8)9/h1-6H
  • InChI=1/C10H6O2/c11-9-5-6-10(12)8-4-2-1-3-7(8)9/h1-6H
  • O=C1c2ccccc2C(=O)cc1
Molar mass 158.15 g/mol
Density 1.422 g/cm3
Melting point 126 °C (259 °F; 399 K)
Boiling point Begins to sublime at 100 °C
0.09 g/L
-73.5·10−6 cm3/mol
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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1,4-Naphthoquinone or para-naphthoquinone is an quinone derived from naphthalene. It forms volatile yellow triclinic crystals and has a sharp odor similar to benzoquinone. It is almost insoluble in cold water, slightly soluble in petroleum ether, and more soluble in polar organic solvents. In alkaline solutions it produces a reddish-brown color. Vitamin K is a derivative of 1,4-naphthoquinone. It is a planar molecule with one aromatic ring fused to a quinone subunit.[2] It is an isomer of 1,2-naphthoquinone.


The industrial synthesis involves aerobic oxidation of naphthalene over a vanadium oxide catalyst:[3]

C10H8 + 3/2 O2 → C10H6O2 + H2O

In the laboratory, naphthoquinone can be produced by the oxidation of a variety of naphthalene compounds. An inexpensive route involves oxidation of naphthalene with chromium trioxide.[4]


1,4-Naphthoquinone acts as strong dienophile in Diels-Alder reaction. Its adduct with 1,3-butadiene can be prepared by two methods: 1) long (45 days) exposure of naphthoquinone in neat liquid butadiene taken in huge excess at room temperature in a thick-wall glass tube or 2) fast catalyzed cycloaddition at low temperature in the presence of 1 equivalent of tin(IV) chloride:[5]

Diels-Alder reaction of 1,4-naphthoquinone with 1,3-butadiene


1,4-Naphthoquinone is mainly used as a precursor to anthraquinone by reaction with butadiene followed by oxidation. Nitration gives 5-nitro-1,4-naphthalenedione, precursor to an aminoanthroquinone that is used as a dye precursor.[3]


Naphthoquinone forms the central chemical structure of many natural compounds, most notably the K vitamins. 2-Methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone, called menadione, is a more effective coagulant than vitamin K.

Other natural naphthoquinones include juglone, plumbagin, droserone.

Naphthoquinone derivatives have significant pharmacological properties. They are cytotoxic, they have significant antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties. Plants with naphthoquinone content are widely used in China and the countries of South America, where they are used to treat malignant and parasitic diseases.[6]

Naphthoquinone functions as a ligand through its electrophilic carbon-carbon double bonds.[7]

Dichlone, a chlorinated derivative of 1,4-naphthoquinone, is used as a fungicide.

See also[]


  1. ^ Merck Index, 11th Edition, 6315.
  2. ^ Gaultier, J.; Hauw, C. (1965). "Structure de l'α-Naphtoquinone". Acta Crystallographica. 18 (2): 179–183. doi:10.1107/S0365110X65000439.
  3. ^ a b Grolig, J.; Wagner, R. "Naphthoquinones". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a17_067.
  4. ^ Braude, E. A.; Fawcett, J. S. (1953). "1,4-Naphthoquinone" (PDF). Organic Syntheses. 33: 50.; Collective Volume, vol. 4, p. 698
  5. ^ M.A. Filatov; S. Baluschev; I.Z. Ilieva; V. Enkelmann; T. Miteva; K. Landfester; S.E. Aleshchenkov; A.V. Cheprakov (2012). "Tetraaryltetraanthra[2,3]porphyrins: Synthesis, Structure, and Optical Properties". J. Org. Chem. 77 (24): 11119–11131. doi:10.1021/jo302135q. PMID 23205621.
  6. ^ Babula, P.; Adam, V.; Havel, L.; Kizek, R. (2007). "Naphthoquinones and their Pharmacological Properties". Ceská a Slovenská Farmacie (in Czech). 56 (3): 114–120. PMID 17867522.
  7. ^ Kündig, E. P.; Lomberget, T.; Bragg, R.; Poulard, C.; Bernardinelli, G. (2004). "Desymmetrization of a meso-Diol Complex Derived from [Cr(CO)36-5,8-Naphthoquinone)]: Use of New Diamine Acylation Catalysts". Chemical Communications. 2004 (13): 1548–1549. doi:10.1039/b404006f.