Alkyl phosphates belong to a group of organic compounds called organophosphorus compounds. They are esters of phosphoric acid H3PO4 and corresponding alcohol. For example, the formula of methyl phosphate is CH3-H2PO4, dimethyl phosphate – (CH3)2HPO4 and trimethyl phosphate – (CH3)3PO4. Alkyl phosphates are widely distributed in nature, and form the basis of most biological processes. For example, high energy metabolites such as ATP and PEP are alkyl phosphates, as are nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA. Alkyl phosphates are also important medicinally, for example the HIV drug AZT is inactive until it becomes an alkyl phosphate in vivo.