Further organic chemistry 1
In the organic chemistry of the second year of the A level course students extend their study of functional group chemistry to include the carbonyl group, and carboxylic acids and their derivatives. The study of isomerism is further developed by adding optical isomerism, the second type of stereoisomerism, to that of geometric isomerism studied in the first year of the course.
Another two mechanisms are added to the student's repertoire. Nucleophilic addition to aldehydes and ketones, and addition-elimination to carboxylic acids and their derivatives. In both mechanisms the initial step is addition of a nucleophile to the carbonyl carbon. In the case of aldehydes and ketones hydorgen and alkyl groups are not good enough leaving groups for the intermediate to undergo elimination to restore the carbonyl group and so an alcohol is produced.
Aldehydes and ketones, and carboxylic acids and derivatives, share the carbonyl functional group and therefore are compiled together in this list.
Arenes. nitrogen containing compounds and molecules of life are collected together in the list Further Organic Chemistry 2.
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Links and Resources
This rich resource provides much detailed background material covering carbonyl compounds, carboxylic acids, carboxylic acid derivatives and optical isomerism. The resource would be useful for teachers when planning lessons, but also many of the exercises, with a few dated exceptions, are still useful and pertinent to current syllabuses and can be scanned or retyped and edited to provide class or homework material. This is an invaluable resource for planning, and for setting example problems to support teaching and learning.
This activity focuses on the properties of the two enantiomers of limonene, and would make a nice introduction to the study of optical isomerism. Starting with the differing odours of limonene depending on the isomer, the activity then asks students to consider in what ways enantiomers are the same and in what ways they would differ.
This is a short video sequence (three minutes) on the importance of esters in the natural world, as fragrances and as food flavourings. It could be used at the start of a lesson on esters to stimulate interest before a more detailed examination of their chemistry.
This resource describes the microscale preparation of an ester, ethyl benzoate, using simple and readily available laboratory equipment and is a nice example of acid catalysed esterification.
This activity draws rogether students' understanding of the organic chemsitry learned in the A level course with the exception of the chemistry of aromatic compounds. It would be an advantage to have studied amines and nitriles as well, but enough must have been covered in studying carboxylic acids and derivatives to allow much of the activity to be completed. Even students who have a very good understanding of reaction mechanisms find putting everything together when thinking about synthetic pathways difficult. As such, this is a very nice activity to help draw together and consolidate ideas on organic chemistry towards the end of the course.