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cyano group

cyano group (sĪˈənō, sĪ-ănˈō) [key], in chemistry, functional group that consists of a carbon atom joined to a nitrogen atom by a triple bond; it can be joined to an atom or another group by a single bond to the carbon atom. When a cyano group is joined to hydrogen, it forms hydrogen cyanide. When it is joined to a metal, it forms a metal cyanide. When it is joined to an alkyl group or aryl group, it forms a nitrile. When two cyano groups are joined directly to one another, they form the cyanogen molecule, NCCN. Both the cyano group and hydrogen cyanide have been found in interstellar space.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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