Organic chemistry is the study of all things carbon containing. From enormous biomolecules like proteins to petroleum derived products, the study of organic chemistry has expanded to encompass a wide range of compounds.
These carbon containing molecules are present everywhere in day to day life - the proteins making up your body, the flavour of your morning coffee, the dyes that colour your clothes, the soap in your shampoo, the sugar in what you eat!
These structures may look unfamiliar to you now but by the end of the course you should be able to identify important features within them, such as functional groups, stereochemistry, and be able to predict their reactivity.
As you can see from some of the above examples, organic chemistry is primarily focused around hydrocarbons, that is molecules built of hydrogen and carbon, however they are not the only elements you will find here. Oxygen and nitrogen show up in many compound, and as you delve deeper into organic chemistry you will find more exotic compounds containing halogens, silicons and even metals!
- 1 Course goals
- 2 Course overview
- 3 Chemistry in context
- 4 Resources
We aim to provide a comprehensive course of organic chemistry, from the foundations to covering advance topics.
Fundamental chemistry knowledge
Organic chemistry combines many ideas from general chemistry. You may have covered these topics before but we will cover them in the context of organic chemistry. These topics should be useful for people new to organic chemistry or as a refresher for those with more experience.
- Atomic structure
- Acids and bases
- Oxidation and reduction
Beginning organic chemistry
- How are organic molecules represented?
- Physical properties
- Chemical properties
- Functional groups
Fundamental organic reactions
- Electrons moving
- Nucleophiles and electrophiles
- Drawing mechanisms
- Reactions of alkenes and alkynes
- SN2 vs SN1
- Which mechanism?
- Acids and bases
- Alkanes and cycloalkanes
Molecular orbital theory
- Explaining bonding with molecular orbital diagrams
- HOMO and LUMO
- Determining aromaticity of compounds
- Electrophilic aromatic substitution
- Nucleophilic aromatic substitution
- Friedel Crafts
This area is typically covered in a second year chemistry course.
- Carbonyl structure - orbitals and reactivity
- Nucleophilic addition to a carbonyl
- Periodate cleavage
- Ylides - Wittig reaction
- Enolates and Aldol reactions
- Carboxylic acids
- Acid chlorides
- Pericyclic reactions
- Diels Alder
- Sigmatropic rearrangements
- Determining reaction mechanisms
- Heterocyclic chemistry
- Asymmetric synthesis
- Sharpless asymmetric reactions
- Organometallic chemistry
- Radical reactions
- Natural products
- Chemical biology
- Solid phase chemistry
- Peptide synthesis
- Oligonucleotide synthesis
Chemistry in context
These pages or courses may be useful to understand the role of chemistry in other contexts
This field of chemistry is focused on identifying molecules. How can they be separated and how do you know what molecule you have? This is an important part of organic chemistry too.
Every living thing is a highly advanced reactor. What molecules are involved in these processes and what reactions are important?
Drugs are chemicals interacting and altering your body. Many of these chemicals are found in nature and then purified to create medicines. How are these molecules made and designed?
The environment has chemistry too.
Things you eat are also chemicals.