Functional group

In organic chemistry functional groups are specific groups of atoms within molecules, that are responsible for the characteristic chemical reactions of those molecules. The same functional group will undergo the same or similar chemical reaction(s) regardless of the size of the molecule it is a part of.

The following is a list of common functional groups. In the formulas, the symbols R and R' usually denotes an attached hydrogen, or a hydrocarbon chain of any length, but may sometimes refer to any group of atoms. Below is an image of multiple functional groups found in organic chemistry.

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

The non-hydrogen atoms of functional groups are always associated with each other and with the rest of the molecule by covalent bonds. When the group of atoms is associated with the rest of the molecule primarily by ionic forces, the group is referred to more properly as a polyatomic ion or complex ion. And all of these are called radicals, by a meaning of the term radical that predates the free radical.

The first carbon after the carbon that attaches to the functional group is called the alpha carbon.


Go to Start | This article uses material from the Wikipedia