The Power of Acid Catalysis

The Power of Acid Catalysis

April 21, 2010

When I talked about 10 key concepts in carbonyl chemistry a few weeks ago, there was one subject that I wanted to talk about in more depth but left out. That subject is acid catalysis, and any discussion of carbonyls …

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The Conjugate Base is Always a Stronger Nucleophile

April 19, 2010

So given identical reactlon conditions (e.g. temperature, solvent, and electrophile) the conjugate base is always a better nucleophile.

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Organic Chemistry Study Tips: Learn the Trends

Organic Chemistry Study Tips: Learn the Trends

April 9, 2010

When studying for organic chemistry, knowing the relationships between properties is more important than learning facts by rote.

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“I Hate This Damn Course”

April 8, 2010

Learning organic chemistry can be every bit as frustrating as learning a foreign language.

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Carbonyls: 10 key concepts (Part 2)

Carbonyls: 10 key concepts (Part 2)

April 6, 2010

5 more key concepts: Carbonyls make adjacent alkyl groups more acidic, the more electrophilic the carbonyl, the more acidic its alpha protons, carbonyls activate alkenes toward nucleophilic attack, reactivity of alpha…

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Carbonyl Chemistry: 10 Key Concepts (Part 1)

Carbonyl Chemistry: 10 Key Concepts (Part 1)

April 4, 2010

The weaker the base, the better the leaving group. Electron withdrawing groups make the carbonyl more electrophilic. Electron donors make the carbonyl *less* electrophilic. Carboxylic acid derivatives always protonate…

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Nucleophile attacks Electrophile

Nucleophile attacks Electrophile

April 1, 2010

Pretty much every reaction in organic chemistry boils down to “nucleophile attacks electrophile”.

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Summary Sheet: Additions to Carbonyls

Summary Sheet: Additions to Carbonyls

March 31, 2010

I put together this summary sheet for the reaction of nucleophiles with carbonyls (click for larger image, see link to downloadable PDF below). It summarizes the two key concepts that are important to understand for t…

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