Cyanides and Isocyanides

Cyanides are the compounds with functional group -CN and can be regarded as the derivatives of hydrogen cyanide (HCN). The cyanide group is an ambident group. This means cyanide group can attach to alkyl or aryl group through both carbon atoms as well as nitrogen atom. Thus the compounds obtained by replacement of the H-atom of hydrogen cyanides by alkyl or aryl group are called organic cyanides or nitriles.

Isocyanides are the compounds isomeric with cyanides and can be regarded as derived from Hydrogen isocyanide by replacement of H by alkyl or aryl group.