Organic chemistry

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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!

Furaneol - a caramel flavoured molecule found in coffee, Indigotin - an important purple dye, 2-dodecoxyethyl sulfate - an important detergent molecule, glucose - table sugar

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!

Course goals[edit]

We aim to provide a comprehensive course of organic chemistry, from the foundations to covering advance topics.

Course overview[edit]

Fundamental chemistry knowledge[edit]

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.

Beginning organic chemistry[edit]

Fundamental organic reactions[edit]

  1. Electrons moving
    1. Nucleophiles and electrophiles
    2. Drawing mechanisms
  2. Addition
    1. Reactions of alkenes and alkynes
  3. Substitution
    1. SN2
    2. SN1
    3. SN2 vs SN1
  4. Elimination
    1. E2
    2. E1
    3. Which mechanism?
  5. Acids and bases

Conformational analysis[edit]

  • Alkanes and cycloalkanes

Molecular orbital theory[edit]

  • Explaining bonding with molecular orbital diagrams
  • HOMO and LUMO

Aromaticity[edit]

  • Determining aromaticity of compounds
  • Electrophilic aromatic substitution
  • Nucleophilic aromatic substitution
  • Friedel Crafts

Carbonyl chemistry[edit]

This area is typically covered in a second year chemistry course.

  • Carbonyl structure - orbitals and reactivity
  • Nucleophilic addition to a carbonyl
  • Reduction
  • Oxidation
    • Bayer-Villiger
    • PCC
  • Hydrates
  • Cyanohydrins
  • Imines
  • Periodate cleavage
  • Hydrazone
  • Ylides - Wittig reaction
  • Enolates and Aldol reactions
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Acid chlorides
  • Anhydrides
  • Esters
  • Beta-ketoesters

Advanced topics[edit]

  • Retrosynthesis
  • Pericyclic reactions
    • Diels Alder
    • Cycloaddition
    • Electrocyclic
    • Sigmatropic rearrangements
  • Carbenes
  • Determining reaction mechanisms
  • Heterocyclic chemistry
  • Asymmetric synthesis
    • Sharpless asymmetric reactions
  • Organometallic chemistry
  • Radical reactions
  • Natural products
  • Chemical biology
  • Rearrangements
  • Solid phase chemistry
    • Peptide synthesis
    • Oligonucleotide synthesis

Chemistry in context[edit]

These pages or courses may be useful to understand the role of chemistry in other contexts

Analytical chemistry and spectroscopy[edit]

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.

Biochemistry[edit]

Every living thing is a highly advanced reactor. What molecules are involved in these processes and what reactions are important?

Medicinal chemistry[edit]

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?

Environmental chemistry[edit]

The environment has chemistry too.

Food chemistry[edit]

Things you eat are also chemicals.

Resources[edit]

Books[edit]

Organic Chemistry - Jonathan Clayden

Websites[edit]

MasterOrganicChemistry

Videos[edit]

Khan Academy