Beginning Organic Chemistry (BOC)
Return to BOC Index.
Stereoisomers are isomers having exactly the same bond connectivity but with arrangements which differ from one another spacially.
Different spacial arrangements of atoms can give rise to distinct compounds (isomers) in two major ways:
In the following, links are provided to the relevent parts of my Nomenclature Tutorial. There may be several pages to view.
Use the BACK button on your browser to return to this page.
There are a number of situations where rotation about a bond is prevented, or at least strongly hindered, in organic compounds:
In these latter two cases the bond could be a single (two-electron) bond which is prevented from its normal rotation by the structure of the rest of the molecule.
|(E)-But-2-ene, trans-2-Butene.||(Z)-But-2-ene, cis-2-Butene.|
In carbon compounds, this can give rise to isomerism because of the tetrahedral arrangement of substituents at a singly bonded carbon atom. It turns out that there are two distinct ways in which four different atoms may be attached in the tetrahedral configuration to a centre atom. Nomenclature tutorial pages. (there are a number of relevent pages here.)
Date created: 2005 06 12.