Topic 10: Organic Chemistry

10.1 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry

Homologous series​​

  • Series of compounds that have the same general formula, but varies in the length of the main chain.

  • The bigger the chain, the bigger the boiling point, due to stronger London Forces.

Structural Formulas

  • Full structural formula

    • Example:​

  • Condensed structural formula

    • Example: 

  • Skeletal formula

    • Example: 

Structural isomers

Compounds that have the same chemical formula, but different structural formula.

​​Functional groups

  • reactive part of the molecules

  • Alkane: --

  • Alkene: alkenyl

  • Alkyne: alkynyl

  • Arene: phenyl

  • Alcohols: hydroxyl

  • Aldehydes: aldehyde

  • Ketones: carbonyl

  • Carboxylic acid: carboxyl

  • Ether: ether

  • Esther: esther

  • Amine: amino

  • Amide: amido

  • Nitriles: cyano

Saturation of carbons ​

  • Saturated carbons: single bonds

  • Unsaturated carbons: double or triple bonds


Unsaturated aromatic ring with 6 carbons

10.2 Functional Group Chemistry


  • Relatively inert/ low reactivity

  • combustion of alkanes 

    • General rule:


    • ​Example:

Halogenation of alkanes--> becomes more reactive

  • Mechanism: Free Radical Substitution​
  • Example:

Note: you have to know this mechanism by heart!


  • Hydrogenation

    • Example:​

  • Halogenation

    • Example:​
  • Polimerization

    • Example:​


  • Oxidation 

    • primary​: alcohol -distillation-> Aldehydes -Refluxing->carboxilic acid

    • secondary: alcohol --> ketone

    • tertiary: no reaction

  • Estherification

    • Acid + Alcohol --> Esther + water

  • Benzene

    • does not undergo addition reactions

    • Electrophilic substitution reactions

    • Example:

  • Bromine Water

    • Liquid bromine is used to determine unsaturation
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