Stereogenic Centers

What provides a molecule chiral? It transforms out the in the majority of cases chiral molecules resultfrom carbon atom that room bonded to four various groups. Because that example, C2 in 2-butanol isattached to the four distinct groups -H, -Me, -Et, and -OH. There are two different ways to arrangefour groups about tetrahedr al carbon, providing rise to chirality. (In fact, chiral molecules gavechemists proof that carbon is undoubtedly tetrahedral.) together a carbon atom is dubbed an asymmetriccarbon because it lacks a aircraft of symmetry. Asymmetric carbons are likewise called "chiral carbons". Due to the fact that asymmetric carbons give rise come stereoisomerism, they room stereogenic centers orstereocenters. Technica lly, there are other structural motifs that are stereocenters besideasymmetric carbons, however in exercise the term "stereocenter" is offered in place of "asymmetric carbon" todenote a carbon bonded to four various substituents.

Figure %: General description of asymmetric carbon atom that room bonded to four different groups.

(R)/(S) Nomenclature

The score of nomenclature is to allow chemists to unambiguously recognize the framework of anymolecule given its name. The existence of stereoisomers presents a special difficulty in this regard. Because that example, offered a certain molecule that 2-butanol, how can we name it so the the surname conveys itshandedness? How have the right to we convey exactly which enantiomer that 2-butanol we"re talk about? Furthermore, what around molecules the contain numerous stereocenters? What is essential is anomenclature device to point out the pure configuration at every stereocenter.

The ax "configuration" describes the addressed spatial positioning of bonds at a particularstereogenic carbon atom. Execute not confuse "configuration" with "conformation". Unlike conformations,which are constantly equilibrating back and forth between forms, configurations are fixed and also do notchange unless bonds space broken. The configurational designation is absolute in the sense that the exact three-dimensional structure of the molecule have the right to be reconstructed using the name alone.

In order to specify the pure configuration at any type of stereogenic carbon, first identify the four groups attached come it and assign concerns to them making use of the Cahn-Ingold-Prelog convention:Examine the atoms directly attached to the stereogenic carbon. Groups attached through atoms of higher atomic number receive higher priority. In the instance of isotopes, assign higher priority to the team containing the atom of higher atomic mass. When the enclosed atoms space identical, move down the next branching link of the highest priority, and repeat until a distinction is found.

Figure %: Assigning priorities to groups on 2-butanol according to the Cahn-Ingold-Prelog conventionAfter assigning priorities, look at the molecule so that the team of lowest priority is dealing with awayfrom you. Now trace a circular course from the group of highest priority to the team of secondpriority come the team of 3rd priority. If this route is c lockwise, the stereocenter has an (R)configuration. If the route is counterclockwise, the stereocenter has an (S) designation.
Figure %: Designating (R)/(S) configurations because that 2-butanol

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