Revision Notes for Chemical Science: Schmidt Reaction! (Download PDF)

By Renuka Miglani|Updated : December 6th, 2021

Hello Aspirants,

Are you looking for some short and reliable notes during your CSIR-NET preparations? Then, you have come to a perfect place!

Candidates preparing for their CSIR NET exam might need to get some short study notes and strategies to apply while preparing for the key exam of their life. At this point, We at Byjus Exam Prep come up with short notes on the Schmidt Reactionwhich comes under the Organic Chemistry section of the Chemical Science syllabus. 

Our experienced subject matter experts have meticulously designed this set of short notes on the Schmidt Reaction to give you the most standard set of study materials to be focused upon. In this cut-throat competitive world, students need to prepare themselves with the best study materials to help them learn and for their future. So, here we are offering the best study notes that are reliable and can be used by the students during their preparations for the upcoming CSIR-NET 2021 exam.


The organic reaction in which hydrogen azide (HN3) reacts with electrophiles, such as aldehyde, ketone, carboxylic acid, tertiary alcohols, or alkenes in presence of an acid (i.e., acid catalyzed reaction) to give amines, amides, nitriles, or imines with and expulsion of Nitrogen (N2).

In this reaction mechanism, rearrangement occurs.


1. The Schmidt reaction is used to convert substituted ketone to amides or lactams.


2. Schmidt reaction with aldehydes is not very much successful because of C – migration to form amide or H – migration to form nitrile.

3. In the case of tertiary alcohols, they give substitution by azide, via carbenium ion which gives alkyl azide that rearranges to yield an imine.

General Reaction -


Reaction mechanism-

For an acid: The reaction with carboxylic acid produces acyl azides, which rearranges to form isocyanates, which is further either solvolyzed to carbamates or hydrolyzed to carbamic acid; decarboxylation of which successfully gives amines with carboxylic acids.


For a ketone: The reaction produces azidohydrin intermediate which thereafter successfully gives amides with ketones.


For an alkene: The addition of HN3 gives alkyl azide which rearranges to produce imine. 


Example -


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