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Orange-red needles that are used as a colorimetric reagent for the detection of soluble Mercury salts in ethnographic and natural science collections (Odegaard et al 2000). Diphenylcarbazone dissolves in ethanol and turns blue when mercury is present.

Chemical structure


Synonyms and Related Terms

phenyldiazenecarboxylic acid 2-phenylhydrazide; phenylazoformic acid 2-phenylhydrazide


  • May be harmful if ingested or inhaled.
  • Contact may cause irritation.
  • Millipore Sigma: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Insoluble in water. Soluble in alcohol, chloroform, benzene.

Composition C13H12N4O
CAS 538-62-5
Melting Point 157 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 240.26

Resources and Citations

  • The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 3334
  • N.Odegaard, S.Carroll, W.Zimmt, Material Characterization Tests for Objects of Art and Archaeology, Archetype Publications, London, 2000, p. 72.