Modern organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon (organic) compounds.
Organic compounds: – have C atoms as their basis, and contain more carbon (by mass) than any other element – always contain H, and sometimes O, N, and other non- metals – always have covalent bonds
Table 1 (p.215) lists some common organic compounds. You can determine if a compound is organic by determining how much C is present:
What makes carbon so special? It has 4 valence electrons, which means that it can long chains and make big molecules. Each valence e can pair up with another single e from another atom, (such as H or another C), to form a covalent bond!
Biological molecules (polysaccharides, fats, DNA, etc.) are examples of big organic molecules.
The simplified structures here are called structural formulas– they help visualize organic molecules. The basis for drawing these structural formulas is Lewis Diagrams, but when drawing structural formulas, there are some key differences: – the covalent bond (shared e) is shown as a ‘stick’ or line
The basis for drawing these structural formulas is Lewis Diagrams, but when drawing structural formulas, there are some key differences: – we don’t show the non-bonding e dots, but it is understood they are still there (Fig.4 p.217)
The simplest type of organic compound is called a hydrocarbon – they consist of C and H exclusively (e.g. octane in the diagram below).
Other common families of organic compounds are alcohols (always have an –OH group) and ethers (always an –O–group between hydrocarbon groups) – see Table 3 p.219