Synthesis

How Concepts Build Up In Org 2

September 9, 2014

OK. Having looked at the Org 1 Concept Map, let’s ask the next logical question: what does a typical Org 2 course look like? One general observation: the way functional groups are covered in your typical two-semester organic chemistry course generally follows the oxidation ladder. Look at the progression:  alkanes (low oxidation state) first, then [...]

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Synthesis (5) – Reactions of Alkynes

Synthesis (5) – Reactions of Alkynes

January 29, 2014

Today, we’re going to add the reactions of alkynes to our reaction map, which will bring to a close all the major reactions we’ve discussed so far in a typical first semester course. Like alkenes, the main pathway found in the reactions of alkynes is “addition” – that is, breaking the C-C π bond and forming [...]

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Synthesis (4) – Reactions of Alkenes

Synthesis (4) – Reactions of Alkenes

January 21, 2014

In the last post on alkenes we covered the reactions of alkyl halides and it made out tiny little reaction map explode into a cascade.  Here we’re really going to blow up our reaction map, because we’re going to talk about a second very important “hub” for synthesis – alkenes. If you haven’t already noticed…. there [...]

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Synthesis (3) – Reactions of Alkyl Halides

Synthesis (3) – Reactions of Alkyl Halides

January 10, 2014

In the last post, we began our discussion of synthesis by starting with the reactions of alkanes. Since we’ve learned only one important class of alkane reactions so far (free-radical halogenation), our “reaction map” was very small.  Today we will visit the reactions of a much more synthetically versatile functional group: alkyl halides. Using our [...]

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Synthesis (2) – Reactions of Alkanes

Synthesis (2) – Reactions of Alkanes

December 19, 2013

In this post we’re going to begin building our reaction map, starting with the simplest organic compounds of all: alkanes.*We’ve only learned one synthetically important class of alkane reaction: free-radical halogenation. [Combustion is also technically a reaction of alkanes, but producing CO2 and H2O from organic starting materials is not very useful from a synthetic [...]

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Introduction To Synthesis

Introduction To Synthesis

December 17, 2013

By this point we’ve gone over all the major classes of reaction covered in many typical first semester organic chemistry courses.: acid base, substitution, elimination, addition, free-radical reactions, even oxidative cleavage.  Our primary focus has been looking at these reactions as means of transforming one functional group into another, which is the most intuitive way [...]

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Alkynes Are A Blank Canvas

Alkynes Are A Blank Canvas

June 24, 2013

Now that we’ve gone through all the major reactions of alkynes, we can take a step back and look at the big picture. There are lots of reactions of alkynes. So what? you might ask. In this post I will try to convince you that alkynes are really useful building blocks for synthesizing a large variety of compounds.   [...]

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Why the SN2 Reaction Is Powerful

July 11, 2012

Having gone through the mechanism of the SN2 reaction, let’s take a second and look at why it might be useful. In nucleophilic substitution reactions, we’re trading a carbon-(leaving group) bond for a carbon-(nucleophile) bond. If we choose a good leaving group – i.e. an appropriately weak base – we can use this reaction with [...]

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Organic Chemistry Study Tips: Reaction Maps

Organic Chemistry Study Tips: Reaction Maps

May 7, 2012

This time of year one of the most common problems students come to me with is how to do synthesis problems. Like this:  There’s a lot of different ways to go about learning how to do synthesis – and I’ll have a lot more to say about that in future posts – but today’s post [...]

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