CAS Registry Number

A CAS Registry Number,[1] also referred to as CAS RN[2] or informally CAS Number, is a unique numerical identifier assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to every chemical substance described in the open scientific literature. It includes all substances described from 1957 through the present, plus some substances from as far back as the early 1800s.[3] It includes organic and inorganic compounds, minerals, isotopes, alloys, mixtures, and nonstructurable materials (UVCBs, substances of unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products, or biological origin).[4] CAS RNs are generally serial numbers (with a check digit), so they do not contain any information about the structures themselves the way SMILES and InChI strings do.

The registry maintained by CAS is an authoritative collection of disclosed chemical substance information. It identifies more than 182 million unique organic and inorganic substances and 68 million protein and DNA sequences,[3] plus additional information about each substance. It is updated with around 15,000 additional new substances daily.[5] A collection of almost 500 thousand CAS registry numbers are made available under a CC-BY-NC license at ACS Commons Chemistry.[6]


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