Drawing Isomers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Homolog and isomer, Organic chemistry, Uncategorized

Drawing isomers is a skill we should expect to develop in a Chemistry class. In case you’re not sure what are isomers, they are basically structures that have the same chemical formula (same number of atoms) but are connected differently, therefore, having different structural formula.  The best way to explain how to draw an isomer is to use an example. In this case, we’re going to use C6H14. A tip (Tip #1) that I find useful when drawing isomers is to identify the functional groups present in the given formula. Looking at C6H14, it basically consists of only carbons and hydrogens, making it a hydrocarbon. Now, which type could it be though – is it an alkane, alkene or alkyne? We can figure out which general formula (alkane, alkene or alkyne) C6H14 fits in. The general […]

Let’s name those organic suckers (compounds)!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in IUPAC nomenclature

Do you get overwhelmed when it comes to naming organic compounds? Or do you get excited and accept the challenge of naming them? When I was young(er), I used to dread naming them. Couldn’t be bothered spending time learning the rules (they always seem endless and filled with lots of surprises/exceptions). It was much easier to brush it off claiming it’s not important and will not come in handy. Well … that worked for a while until I chose Chemistry as my major in undergraduate and later turned it into my career! Ha! Time to get serious and learn to name those suckers. Many organic compounds later… It’s actually very exciting once you figure out the basics. I do empathize with anyone who is facing the same lack of love for naming compounds using IUPAC […]

How to draw organic compounds in expanded, condensed and skeletal structural formula

Organic Chemistry 101: Drawing the structures

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Organic chemistry

One of the basic skills we need to acquire when learning organic chemistry is the ability to decipher the drawing that illustrates the organic compounds. Sometimes they come in lines with letters, sometimes grouped together and maybe sometimes, hardly any letters at all, just lines. Being able to “read” these structures will pave the road to success in conquering whatever is next – identifying functional groups, drawing isomers, naming compounds, etc. Basically, there are 3 common ways organic compounds are drawn. They are: Expanded structural formula Condensed structural formula Bond-line/Skeletal structural formula When we graduated from drawing Lewis structure successfully, chances are high, our structure looks like this (the “expanded” image below). We draw out all of the bonds connecting all of the atoms in the compound. Sometimes, we may even include the lone pairs […]

Flowchart to classify homolog, isomer, same compound or not.

All about Homolog and Isomer!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Homolog and isomer

Along with knowing the basic functional groups that are present in organic compounds, chances are high you will encounter these two concepts: Homologous series and Isomerism. Homologous series (homolog for short) is like a family consisting of siblings that possess the same/similar traits. For example, the most basic homologous series consists of unbranched alkane. Check out the list the first 10 siblings below. Notice that their structure look kind of the same? The only difference between one sibling and the next one is the extra CH2.  That’s one of the characteristics that define homolog. Also, homologs share the same functional group and general formula (CnH2n+2 in our case of unbranched alkane). Since their structure is so similar, that contributes to them having rather similar physical properties – like boiling point, melting point, physical states, density, etc. […]

Identifying Multiple Functional Groups

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Functional groups, Organic chemistry

Are you expected to determine the number of functional groups present in a complex compound? Or perhaps you need to identify the functional groups that are present in a given compound? I have a few tips to share: look for anything that is not C-C single bond in a systematic manner (ie. scan from top to bottom, or left to right) exclude alkane (unless specified otherwise by your instructor) when you see carbonyl group (C=O) right next to O, group it together as an ester. DON’T split them into 2 groups (ketone & ether) when you see carbonyl group (C=O) right next to N, group it together as an amide. DON’T split them into 2 groups (ketone & amine) avoid duplicates of the same group (ie circle and label only 1 OH group even though there are 3 […]

Organic compounds functional groups introduction

Introducing the 13 Functional Groups!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Functional groups, Organic chemistry

Do you dread having to remember all the functional groups? If you are in an introductory chemistry course, chances are high that you need to know these 13 functional groups. Thirteen??!!! Yea, thirteen! Don’t worry, it’ll be easier to remember them if you group them in a manner that makes sense. See the image on top of this post? I’ve strategically placed the 13 groups in a manner where we can easily group them and recall when needed. The first column (pink column) consists of hydrocarbons; compounds which are made of only carbons and hydrogens. The first 4 members are alkane, alkene, alkyne and arene. The fifth member, alkyl halide, is actually a hydrocarbon derivative. Meaning, it was made from a hydrocarbon, specifically alkane. Remove one hydrogen and replace with a halogen (fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine), […]