2
$\begingroup$

What are the partial charges of on the atoms in a SN2 reaction?

The nucleophile is normally negatively charged and has a lone pair of electrons. This would make you think the transition state would have a negative charge on the nucleophile. The leaving group also is taking the electrons from the molecule with it. So what is the charge separation?

Here are conflicting images.

First image

enter image description here

Second image

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not quite sure what you mean by So what is the charge separation? For SN2 reaction of bromide with chloroethane, bromide has -1 charge as reaction "starts" and chloride has -1 charge when the reaction "ends." $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jul 30 '18 at 1:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ? I don't see any "conflict" between the links. What do you think is different/wrong? $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jul 30 '18 at 14:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That just isn't correct. For which of the images do you think that there is a positive charge on the nucleophile?!? For the second the leaving atom isn't even shown... $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jul 30 '18 at 17:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Take a closer look at the second image. There are partial negative charges on the nucleophile and the leaving group, and a partial positive charge on the carbon center. Your images are in accordance with one another. $\endgroup$ – ringo Jul 30 '18 at 17:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think this illustrates nicely why looking at multiple sources is good. Two different representations get you thinking about what is really going on... $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jul 30 '18 at 18:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.