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CHEM 266

Basic Organic Chemistry 1

  • University of Waterloo credit: 0.5
  • European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credit: 6.0
  • Prerequisite: CHEM 120/123 or equivalent
  • Anti-requisite: CHEM 262, CHEM 264, NE 122
  • Not for students in honours Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry or Biochemistry.

This course provides the student with a strong comprehension of the fundamental concepts of Organic Chemistry and shows how these concepts are applied to synthetic organic chemical reactions. Three major aspects are covered in the course; a) nomenclature b) atoms and chemical bonds c) chemical reactions. An overview of nomenclature is completed first to give the student the basic language of organic chemistry. To understand how or why a chemical reaction will take place the student must first understand atomic properties and the nature of chemical bonds. This is accomplished by investigating the following topics; trends in the periodic table, Lewis structures, formal charges, resonance structures, valence shell electron pair repulsion theory (VSEPR), valence bond theory, hybridization and molecular orbital theory. Intermolecular forces or the bonding between molecules is explored through the comparison of the physical properties of organic compounds. Molecules are then studied in greater detail by examining the spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule or their stereochemistry (chirality, enantiomers, diastereomers, meso compounds, optical activity). This portion covers one third of the course and the students are now prepared to examine chemical reactions. The first step is to study Bronsted-Lowry and Lewis acid and base reactions. These concepts are further expanded by investigating the mechanisms of substitution and elimination reactions with alkyl halides. In these reactions the attacking species can function as either a base or a nucleophile. In the final topics, alcohols, ethers, (oxidation/reduction, organometallic compounds, dehydration of alcohols, carbocation rearrangements, reduction of the carbonyl group) alkenes, alkynes, (electrophilic addition reactions, oxidation/reduction reactions) free radical reactions (relative stabilities, stereochemistry), a mechanistic approach will be used in understanding the different types of chemical reactions that can occur to produce a wide variety of familiar and unique organic compounds.

Please remember that the Undergraduate Calendar is always the official source for all course descriptions.