The other night a student came to me with a question about aromaticity.
“There’s one thing I don’t get”, she said. “They say a molecule has to have 4n+2 electrons. How do you find n?”
“n” is not a characteristic of the molecule! Let me explain.
In order for a molecule to be aromatic, it has to have the following characteristics:
- It must be cyclic
- It must be conjugated (i.e. all atoms around the ring must be able to participate in π-bonding through resonance)
- It must be flat