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Functional group (chemistry)

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This articla is about the classification in chemistry. For the type of social group see: Functional groups


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' denote any group of atoms. Below is an image of multiple functional groups found in organic chemistry.

Chemical class Group Formula Graphical Formula Prefix Suffix
Alcohol Hydroxyl R−OH Hydroxyl hydroxy- -ol
Alkanes Methyl R−CH3 Methyl methyl- (similarly for higher alkyl substituents: ethyl, propyl, butyl, etc.)  
Alkenes Vinyl R−CH=CH−R' Alkene 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. -ene
Alkynes Alkyne R−C≡C−R' Alkyne 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. -yne
Amide Amide R−C(=O)N(−H)−R' Amide name according to the parent amine and acid, respectively: alkyl alkanamide  
Amines primary Amine R−NH2 Amine amino- -amine
secondary Amine R−N(−H)−R' amino- -amine
tertiary Amine R−N(−R')−R amino- -amine
Azo Azo R-N=N-R' Azo.pngl    
  Nitrile R−C≡N Nitrile cyano-  
  Nitro R−NO2 Nitro nitro-  
  Nitroso R−N=O Nitroso nitroso-  
  Pyridyl R−C5H4N Pyridyl    
Carboxylic acid Carboxyl R−C(=O)OH

non-ionized

R−C(=O)O
ionized

Carboxyl carboxy- -oic acid
Peroxide Peroxy R-O-O-R Peroxy    
Carbonyl Aldehyde R−C(=O)H Aldehyde   -al
Ketone R−C(=O)−R' Ketone keto- -one
Imine primary Imine R−C(=NH)−R' imino- -imine
secondary Imine R−C(−H)=N−R' Imine imino- -imine
Ether Ether R−O−R' Ether named according to the parent alcohols, respectively: alkyl alkyl ether  
Ester Ester R−C(=O)O−R' Ester named according to the parent alcohol and acid, respectively: alkyl alkanoate  
Halogens Halogen F,Cl,Br,etc. fluoro-, chloro-, bromo-, or iodo- (also halo- for general) (hal)ide
Isocyanates Isocyanate R−N=C=O Isocyanate alkyl isocyanate  
Isothiocyanate R−N=C=S Isothiocyanate alkyl isothiocyanate  
Phenyl Phenyl R−C6H5 Phenyl    
Benzyl Benzyl R−CH2−C6H5 Benzyl benzyl  
  Phosphodiester R−OP(=O)(−OH)O−R' Phosphodiester    
Thiol Sulfhydryl R−SH Sulfhydryl   -thiol
  Thioether R−S−R' Thioether    

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.

External links Edit

ca:Grup funcional de:Funktionelle Gruppe es:Grupo funcional eo:Funkcia grupo fr:Groupe fonctionnel ko:작용기he:קבוצה פונקציונלית nl:Functionele groeppt:Grupo funcional fi:Funktionaalinen ryhmä th:หมู่ฟังก์ชัน vi:Nhóm chức zh:官能团

{{enWP| Functional_group

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