Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry

Tert-butoxide (tert-butoxide ion; tBuO-): (CH3)3CO-; the conjugate base of tert-butanol. A strong base (frequently used in E2 and enolate reactions) but a fairly poor nucleophile due to steric hindrance.

Molecular structure of tert-butoxide ion.

(CH3)3CO-  Na+



Major product

Minor product
Sodium tert-butoxide in an E2 reaction, illustrating Hofmann elimination.



Potassium tert-butoxide in a Williamson ether synthesis (an SN2 reaction).