The three so called classic nerve agents
that have been discussed all have very similar structures
Click on the structures to get a 3-D view
1. Tabun / GA (O-ethyl dimethylamidophosphorylcyanide).
Tabun is the easiest to manufacture but is quite
2. Sarin / GB (Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate)
A volatile compound mainly taken up through inhalation.
3. Soman / GD (pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate)
A more viscous liquid that may be taken up through
Many modern insecticides have similar structures
to these lethal compounds! Their structure usually differ by replacement
of the P=O group by P=S and a less reactive group than (-CN) or (-F) is
The insectisides are metabolized in the body of
the pest organism to produce anticholinesterase
The structure of VX is similar to the G-Agents
but the reactive (-CN) or (-F) group seen in tabun, sarin and soman is
replaced by a thioether with a tertiary amine group.