Tetrabutylammonium is a quaternary ammonium cation with the formula [N(C4H9)4]+. It is used in the research laboratory to prepare lipophilic salts of inorganic anions. Relative to tetraethylammonium derivatives, tetrabutylammonium salts are more lipophilic but crystallize less readily.


Some tetrabutylammonium salts of simple anions include:

The bromide salt is a typical derivative of tetrabutylammonium.

Some tetrabutylammonium salts of more complex examples include:


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  2. J. Bojes, T. Chivers, I. Drummond "Heptathiazocine(Heptasulfurimide) and Tetrabutylammonium Tetrathionitrate" Inorganic Syntheses, 1978, Vol. 18, pp. 203–206. doi:10.1002/9780470132494.ch36
  3. A. Ceriotti, G. Longoni, M. Marchionna "Bis(Tetrabutylammonium) Hexa-μ-Carbonyl-Hexacarbonylhexaplatinate(2-), [N(C4H9)4]2[Pt6(CO)6(μ-CO)6]" Inorganic Syntheses, 1989, Vol. 26, pp. 316–319. doi:10.1002/9780470132579.ch57
  4. George Christou, C. David Garner, A. Balasubramaniam, Brian Ridge, H. N. Rydon, "Tetranuclear Iron-Sulfur and Iron-Selenium Clusters" Inorganic Syntheses, 1982, Vol. 21, pp. 33–37. doi:10.1002/9780470132524.ch9.
  5. T. J. Barder, R. A. Walton "Tetrabutylammonium Octachlorodirhenate(III)" Inorganic Syntheses, 1990, Vol. 28, pp. 332–334. doi:10.1002/9780470132593.ch83
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