Functional group

HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

In organic chemistry functional groups are submolecular structural motifs, characterized by specific elemental composition and connectivity, that confer reactivity upon the molecule that contains them.


Common functional groups include:

Term                 Formula                          prefix                           suffix

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

amine                R-NH2                            amino-                             -amine
carboxylic acid      R-C(=O)OH                        hydrocarboxy-                      -oic acid
alcohol              R-OH                             hydroxy-                           -ol
aldehyde             R-C(=O)H                                                           -al
ketone               R-C(=O)-R'                      keto-                              -one
ester                R-C(=O)O-R'                      named according to the parent alcohol and acid, respectively:  alkyl alkanoate
ether                R-O-R'                           named according to the parent alcohols, respectively:  alkylalkylether
amide                R-C(=O)N(-H)-R'                  name according to the parent amine and acid, respectively:  alkyl alkanamide
alkene               R-CH=CH-R'                      convert the part substituting for alk in the name of the alkane into the alk of the word alkene:  ethane/ethene, propane/propene, butane/butene, etc.
alkyne               R-CC-R'                         convert the part substituting for alk in the name of the alkane into the alk of the word alkyne:  ethane/ethyne, propane/propyne, butane/butyne, etc.
phosphodiester       R-OP(=O)2O-R'
phenyl               R-C6H6
pyridyl              R-C5H5N
methyl               R-C3                               methyl-
(similarly for higher alkyl substituents:  ethyl, propyl, butyl, etc.)


Combining the names of functional groups with the names of the parent alkanes generates a powerful systematic nomenclature for naming organic compounds.

/Talk