Organic Chemistry Concepts and Mechanisms


You’ve probably heard about the hybridization in your general chemistry course and in the organic chemistry multiple times. So, what’s the fuss all about? We all know from general chemistry that the s-orbital is spherical, and p-orbitals are dumbbell-looking orbitals oriented along the x, y, and z axes of the Cartesian system. We also know …

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VSEPR Theory

VSEPR stands for Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory. VSEPR is an important part of the valence bond theory and is a logical next step in the use of the Lewis structures in organic chemistry. In this post, I’m only going to focus on the uncharged molecules. However, the formal charge doesn’t really change anything …

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Formal Charges

formal charges in organic chemistry

Formal charges in organic chemistry is, perhaps, one of the most fundamental bookkeeping devices which is often misunderstood or neglected by students. Why Formal Charges are Important in Organic Chemistry? Knowing formal charges can help us understand the reactivity patterns in reactions, find reactive centers, and make sense out of electron flow in the mechanisms. …

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Enantiomers and Diastereomers

enantiomers and diastereomers

Enantiomers and diastereomers are the only two stereochemical relationships that you can have between any two molecules. The stereoisomers are any two molecules that fulfill the following two requirements: Both molecules must have the same molecular formula, and Both molecules must have the same atom connectivity. So, what’s the difference then? The molecules are stereoisomers …

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Pinacol Rearrangement

Pinacol rearrangement is a specific elimination reaction that vicinal diols go through in acidic conditions. Unlike a typical E1 reaction that gives you an alkene, the pinacol rearrangement gives you an aldehyde or a ketone instead. Here’s the general scheme for the reaction: As you can see, the pinacol rearrangement also causes the carbon backbone …

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