- Organic chemistry is the study of the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds.
- Organic compounds are those which contain carbon.
- For conventional reasons metal carbonates, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are not included in organic compounds.
- The names of organic compounds have two parts: the prefix or stem and the suffix or end part.
- The prefix tells you how many carbon atoms are present in the longest continuous chain in the compound.
- The suffix tells you what functional group is on the compound.
Further Rules for Naming Compounds
- When there is more than one carbon atom where a functional group can be located it is important to distinguish exactly which carbon the functional group is on.
- Each carbon is numbered and these numbers are used to describe where the functional group is.
- Numbering begins at the end of the molecule that produces the smallest number in the name.
- E.g. below are two molecules of butene with the C=C bond at different ends of either chain.
- Numbering assigns the double bond to the carbon atom that produces the lowest number, hence both molecules are named but-1-ene.
Numbering begins on the left of this molecule
Numbering begins on the right of this molecule
- When 2 functional groups are present di- is used as a prefix to the second part of the name.
- Branching also needs to be considered, the carbon atoms with the branches are described by their number.
- When the location of functional groups and branches needs to be described the functional group takes precedence so the functional group has the lowest number.