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(Tetra-n-butylammonium Fluoride)

General Information:


CAS Number: 87749-50-6 (trihydrate)

Molecular Weight: 261.46 g/mol (anhydrous basis)

    315.51 (trihydrate)

TBAF is a quaternary salt that is used as a source of fluorine. The fluorine anion is typically used for deprotection of silyl ether groups or as a mild base. The good solubility of TBAF in organic solvents makes it a useful alternative to poorly soluble inorganic bases. Reactions involving TBAF are typically carried out at temperatures below 100 C due to its low thermal stability.

TBAF is typically obtained as a trihydrate (TBAF-3H2O), 1M solution in THF, or 75 wt% solution in H2O. TBAF will always contain some water due to the fact that the fluorine ion is such a great hydrogen bond acceptor.

Common Uses:

Reagent for the SEM deprotection

Reagent for TBS deprotection

Reagent in substitution reactions with TMSCN

Reagent in SNAr reactions with TMSCN


TBAF is very hygroscopic. Contact of TBAF with acid liberates toxic gas.


1) Patent Reference: WO2015140133, page 103, (11.7 MB)

2) Patent Reference: WO2014152144, page 59, (4.6 MB)

3) Patent Reference: WO2016014463, page 101, (6.7 MB)

4) Patent Reference: WO2016011390, page 151, (20.2 MB)

5) Wikipedia: Tetra-n-butylammonium fluoride (link)

6) Tetrabutylammonium fluoride solution (link)

7) Pearson, A. J.; Roush, W. R.; Handbook of Reagents for Organic Synthesis, Activating Agents and Protecting Groups