Nucleophilic aromatic substitution

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Abstract

Although benzene is moderately reactive towards electrophiles, it is inert to nucleophiles. However, just as the attachment of a group of – M type to the C=C bond in an alkene activates that bond to nucleophiles, so the attachment of such a substituent to the benzene ring activates the ring to nucleophiles. For example, o-and p-nitrophenol are formed by heating nitrobenzene with powdered potassium hydroxide: