Questions tagged [organic-chemistry]

Use this tag for questions relating to organic molecules and their properties (structure of organic molecules, spectroscopic properties, reaction mechanisms, stereochemistry etc). DO NOT use this tag as the only tag in your question, as this tag by itself cannot appropriately classify your question. Always use this tag in addition to other more specific tags.

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70
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6answers
50k views

Ortho-effect in substituted aromatic acids and bases

When comparing o,m,p-toluidine basicities, the ortho effect is believed to explain why o-toluidine is weaker. But when comparing o,m,p-toluic acid basicities, the ortho effect is stated as a reason ...
41
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3answers
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What is the reason for the exceptional stability of the cyclopropylmethyl carbocation?

Can someone explain this to me by drawing resonance structures for the cyclopropylmethyl carbocation please? Also one more question, is the tricyclopropylmethyl carbocation more stable than tropylium ...
36
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2answers
15k views

Why does cyclopropane react with bromine?

In my exam, I was asked why cyclopropane could decolourise bromine water (indicating that it reacted with the bromine). All I could guess was that it is related to the high angle strain in ...
18
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2answers
6k views

What is the perfect definition for chirality?

Why is chirality defined differently for organic and inorganic compounds? Why are inorganic compounds deemed to be optically active if they have more than one of the same ligands attached to the ...
24
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3answers
19k views

Why are vinylic and arylic carbocations highly unstable?

I have checked the internet and read quite a few books, but I still am not able to understand why vinylic and arylic carbocations are highly unstable. What I found while surfing the internet is: For ...
23
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1answer
2k views

What makes C=O more stable that C(OH)₂

When there are $2$ hydroxy groups on same carbon, they tend to undergo dehydration ( of course with exceptions like chloral where $\ce H$ bonding prevails). Why does this happen? We are breaking a ...
35
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3answers
20k views

IUPAC nomenclature: “Smallest sum of locants”?

While naming any compound, the numbering should be done such that position of substituted groups gives smallest sum. I'm struggling with the IUPAC naming for cyclic compounds. How exactly does this ...
22
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1answer
5k views

Molecular chirality and optical rotation

Why does having molecular chirality result in optical rotation? The dissymetry or chirality of molecules translates to the rotation of plane polarized light, the magnitude and direction depending on ...
31
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4answers
60k views

What's the difference between a nucleophile and a base?

Obviously it depends on the context whether you would call a particular species a nucleophile or a base but are the two terms largely synonymous or is there a difference?
42
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1answer
28k views

Mechanism of arene side chain oxidation by permanganate

When treated with hot, concentrated acidic $\ce{KMnO4}$, arenes are oxidised to the corresponding carboxylic acids. For example, toluene is oxidised to benzoic acid. I've tried to examine how this ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How do you name an alkene using IUPAC rules if the longest carbon chain in this alkene does not include the double bond?

For example, which is the right way to name this compound: Is it 2-bromo-4-methylenehexane or 4-bromo-2-ethylpent-1-ene? Does the larger number of carbon in a chain take priority, as in the former, ...
24
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1answer
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Why is 2-methylpropene less in energy than its alkene counterparts?

Other isomers include 1-butene, cis 2-butene, and trans 2-butene. Why would 2-methylpropene be less in energy if there is more steric hindrance?
27
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2answers
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Which carbocation is more stable, the ethyl- or 1-propyl-carbocation?

$\ce{C2H5+ vs \ C3H7+}$ There are two conflicting trends here. Inductive effect of ethyl will be higher than that of methyl so carbocation attached to ethyl (3 carbons in total) should be more stable....
16
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1answer
16k views

Relative acidities of alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes

How does one explain the trend in bond lengths and acidity of the following hydrocarbons? $$\begin{array}{ccc} \hline \text{Species} & \ce{C-H}\text{ bond length / Å} & \mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a} ...
12
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1answer
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What is the major product on chlorination of 2-methylbutane?

I came across a question asking for the major product on chlorination of 2-methylbutane. The answer in the back of the book says it will be 2-chloro-3-methylbutane. However, I thought the major ...
16
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3answers
60k views

Which is the more stable enol form?

If I understand correctly, when we go from a keto to an enol form, we simply abstract an alpha proton and thereby create a double bond to a carbon-bearing the hydroxyl functional group. When ...
21
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5answers
266k views

How to determine number of structural isomers?

I have come across many questions where I'm asked to give the number of possible structural isomers. For example number, structural isomers of hexane is 5, while the number structural isomers of ...
29
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1answer
28k views

Is the ammonium substituent (-NH3+) really meta-directing in electrophilic substitution?

If we make a resonance structure for the anilinium ion, with positive charge at either the ortho or the para position, we get a pentavalent nitrogen, which is not possible. So, how is the $\ce{-NH3+}$ ...
33
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5answers
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Is pyrene aromatic despite failing Hückel's rule?

Pyrene doesn't seem to be aromatic. However, sources claim that it is aromatic. Considerations: Pyrene is cyclic. ✓ Pyrene is flat (planar). ✓ Pyrene has 16 π electrons. Every atom in the ring ...
23
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1answer
19k views

Is cyclobutadiene antiaromatic?

Cyclobutadiene is very unstable. But, some sources claim that this instability can be attributed to other factors such as ring and angle strain rather than antiaromaticity. According to some, ...
25
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4answers
33k views

Why is acetic acid more acidic than phenol?

Acetic acid (ethanoic acid, $\mathrm pK_\mathrm a \approx 5$) is more acidic than phenol ($\mathrm pK_\mathrm a \approx 10$), which is reflected in their reactivity with a weak base such as sodium ...
23
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3answers
9k views

Can heteroatoms with lone pairs be chiral centres?

If a compound has a carbon atom with four different groups covalently bonded to it, it is called asymmetric and enantiomers of the compound can exist. But imagine if one has a different central atom, ...
25
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3answers
56k views

Rationalising the order of reactivity of carbonyl compounds towards nucleophiles

This is immediately following ron's answer from Why is a ketone more nucleophilic than an ester? One of the most simplest questions you can ask, how can you rationalise the order of reactivity ...
21
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1answer
2k views

Ring contraction in a carbocation due to ring strain and back bonding

Today our teacher told us that the following carbocation rearrangement occurs due to back bonding. I could not really follow what he meant. Can someone please explain what is actually happening during ...
23
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3answers
2k views

What is Y-aromaticity? Is the trinitromethanide anion aromatic?

The wikipedia article on trinitromethane claims that: There is some evidence that the anion (which obeys the $4n+2$ Hückel rule) is aromatic. Unfortunately the citation is behind a paywall so I ...
21
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2answers
11k views

How to rationalise the resonance structures and hybridisation of the nitrogen in a conjugated amine?

I was given the first structure, and then drew the other 5 resonance structures: First of all, are they correct? ChemBioDraw had some complaints, but as far as I can see there's the same number of ...
13
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1answer
63k views

What is the definition of organic compounds?

According to the definition of organic compounds on Wikipedia: An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. ...
8
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1answer
337 views

Why do dianions (such as malonate) bind cations more strongly than anions?

Why does a dianion (such as malonate) bind cations more strongly than its equivalent anion (acetate)? Is it simply because of the proximal availability of another $\ce{O-}$ group that can bind to ...
8
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2answers
9k views

1,6-dimethylcyclohexene and 2,3-dimethylcyclohexene

Is there a difference between these two molecules? If so how does one tell? What is the correct nomenclature for cycloalkenes? I know that the double bond is assumed to be between C1 and C2 but why ...
22
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2answers
6k views

Is the ring or the chain chosen as the parent structure in octan-2-ylbenzene?

How would you name the above compound according to IUPAC rules? I see some sources say it is 2-phenyloctane, but ChemDraw and a few other sources say it is 2-octanylbenzene.
109
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1answer
5k views

Is there a general consensus on the causes of the alpha-effect?

There have been various explanations posited for the α-effect. The α-effect refers to a phenomenon wherein nucleophiles with lone pairs on atoms adjacent (i.e., in the α- position) to the atom bearing ...
35
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5answers
39k views

Why does alcoholic KOH prefer elimination whereas aqueous KOH prefers substitution?

What is the basic difference between aqueous and alcoholic $\ce{KOH}$? Why does alcoholic $\ce{KOH}$ prefer elimination whereas aqueous $\ce{KOH}$ prefers substitution?
23
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3answers
7k views

Explanation for the trends in nucleophilicity—Orbital interactions or electrostatic attraction

The trend of halide nucleophilicity in polar protic solvents is $$\ce{I- > Br- > Cl- > F-}$$ The reasons given by Solomons and Fryhle[1], and by Wade[2] are basically as follows. Smaller ...
23
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1answer
21k views

Thermodynamic vs Kinetic Sulphonation of Naphthalene

The left hand isomer is clearly the kinetically favoured product and the right hand isomer is the thermodynamically favoured product. However, I have no idea why. Can you explain?
19
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1answer
16k views

Migratory aptitude in Baeyer-Villiger reaction

In short, I do not understand how or why the migratory aptitude is as listed in every textbook I've read. Firstly, they talk about a positive charge being built up that is stabilised by the movement ...
31
votes
1answer
19k views

Why does the unstabilised Wittig reaction selectively form cis alkenes?

This question is meant for a simple unstabilised ylide. The mechanism of the Wittig reaction, as given on ChemTube3d, involves a concerted formation of the oxaphosphetane (this is generally favoured ...
25
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1answer
33k views

Addition of hydrogen bromide to 1,3-butadiene: thermodynamic and kinetic control

The reaction of one equivalent of hydrogen bromide with 1,3-butadiene gives different products at under different conditions:1 The addition of hydrogen chloride also gives rise to similar products.2 ...
25
votes
5answers
13k views

Is the t-butyl carbocation more stable than the benzyl carbocation?

Various authors have different views regarding stability order of the benzyl and t-butyl carbocations. $$\ce{PhCH2+ ; (CH3)3C+}$$ In my opinion, resonance effect dominates, so the benzylic ...
23
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1answer
10k views

Stability of carbocations: CF3+ vs CH3+

Is $\ce{CF_3+}$ more stable than $\ce{CH_3+}$? In $\ce{CF_3+}$, there is $\ce{C-F}$ back bonding that increases stability of the carbocations. But -I effect of $\ce{F}$ dominates +R effect and this ...
16
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3answers
3k views

IUPAC name for 1,2,3-trichlorocyclopropane?

What is the IUPAC name for the two isomers of 1,2,3-trichlorocyclopropane? Similarly what is the name for isomers of 1,2,3,4-tetrachlorocyclobutane, 1,2,3,4,5-pentachlorocyclopentane, etc? 1,2,3-...
22
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3answers
14k views

Why are allenes chiral?

How is 1-bromo-3-chloropropa-1,2-diene ($\ce{BrHC=C=CHCl}$) chiral? It doesn't have any carbon that is connected to four different groups.
23
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1answer
65k views

Why does fructose reduce Tollen's reagent and Fehling's solution?

Even though fructose is a ketohexose (ketone-containing hexose, a six-carbon monosaccharide), it reduces Tollen's reagent and Fehling's solution. Generally, a ketone does not reduces Tollen's reagent ...
17
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3answers
9k views

Do lone pairs on substituents (e.g. in aniline) count towards Hückel's rule?

Why is aniline aromatic? Doesn't it have 8 π electrons including the lone pair on nitrogen, thereby violating Hückel's rule? The way I see it, there are 6 π electrons from the benzene ring, and an ...
1
vote
1answer
675 views

IUPAC rules on omission of locants in carboxylic acid

I have been lately in debate with my teacher as to why did the IUPAC name the compound with the current official IUPAC name of 2-methylpropanoic acid. (CN: isobutyric acid) My argument is that: You ...
41
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2answers
18k views

Inductive effect of hydrogen isotopes

Why does the electron-donating inductive effect (+I) of the isotopes of hydrogen decrease in the order $\ce{T} > \ce{D} > \ce{H}$? (where T is Tritium and D is Deuterium) Google has nothing to ...
17
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3answers
39k views

Migratory aptitude in pinacol-pinacolone rearrangement

I am confused about the migratory aptitude of various groups, as there are many different orders for the same given in different places, especially about -Ph and -H. I would like to know if someone ...
31
votes
2answers
66k views

What are the meanings of dotted and wavy lines in structural formulas?

So I came across this diagram,the other day: As a chemistry student, I am well-versed with the dashed and wedged lines, but I was wondering what the wavy and the dotted line represent?
42
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6answers
79k views

How can carbon dioxide be converted into carbon and oxygen?

How can $\ce{CO2}$ be converted into carbon and oxygen? $$\ce{CO2 -> C + O2}$$ Alternatively: $$\ce{CO2 + ? -> C + O2}$$ I'm aware that plants are capable of transforming $\ce{CO2 + H2O}$ to ...
30
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1answer
15k views

Relative stability of cis and trans cycloalkenes

Why is the stability of (Z)-cyclodecene 2 greater than that of (E)-cyclodecene 1? I'd think that since 1 contains a trans double bond instead of a cis double bond, it should experience less steric ...
28
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3answers
2k views

Why is 1-ethylidene-4-methylcyclohexane chiral?

As far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a chiral carbon in this compound. C-4 of the cyclohexane ring has two groups with exactly the same connectivity, and the exocyclic double bond can't give ...

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