Nomenclature and Isomerism Study Guide
Organic chemistry is the study of the structure and reactivity of compounds containing carbon. Carbon is the backbone of more compounds than all other elements combined. The strength of the carbon-carbon bond allows for an infinite number of possible compounds and infinite possibilities for the discovery of new and exciting drugs, plastics, and other innovations.
As stated, organic chemistry is the study of compounds containing carbon. In other words, organic chemistry is the study of life, because carbon compounds are essential to biological processes. Most organic compounds also contain hydrogen (hydrocarbons), and many contain heteroatoms such as oxygen, nitrogen, the halogens, phosphorus, and sulfur. Nucleic acids (DNA, RNA, etc.), proteins, carbohydrates (sugars), fats (lipids), plastics, and petroleum products are just a few classes of organic compounds.
Organic chemistry can be traced back to the nineteenth century when German chemist Friedrich Wöhler discovered that urea, a component of urine, was organic:
Carbon is tetravalent (forming four bonds) and can form single bonds, double bonds, and triple bonds. As seen in Table 12.1, the four types of hydrocarbons are alkanes (single bonds), alkenes (double bonds), alkynes (triple bonds), and aromatic. Aromatics are unsaturated hydrocarbons that have cyclic structures. A common and representative compound for aromatic is benzene.
Nomenclature of Alkanes
Alkanes are organic molecules in which all the carbons are bonded to four atoms (i.e., all single bonds). These molecules are saturated because carbon has the maximum number of atoms surrounding it. Organic molecules are named systematically using a straight-chain or unbranched alkane as a backbone (see Table 12.2).
Rules for naming alkanes:
Give the IUPAC systematic name for the following molecules:
Locate the longest chain:
Locate the substituents:
Number the chain using the lowest numbers:
Name the molecule:
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