Characteristics of
Organic Molecules

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Characteristics of Organic Molecules addresses the nature and importance of sigma and pi bonds, hybridization, forces of attraction, solubility influences, and classification of compounds.

The overlap that produces formation of sigma and pi bonds is described in detail with visuals and animations designed to promote understanding. The student is aided in determining when these sigma and pi bonds are expected to be formed so they can easily predict these important characteristics of organic molecules. Further, the unit describes the proposed composition of single, double, and triple bonds, thus allowing the student to make accurate predictions in this area, also.
The relationship between hybridization, electron geometry, and bond angles is addressed, and students are guided in their predictions of these factors using organic structures. Through all of this, the Chemistry Professor is teaching: explaining and repeating these important concepts that will form the basis of further organic chemistry study.

One of the important characteristics of organic molecules is what forces are present that allow molecules to be attracted to one another. The unit addresses interionic forces, hydrogen bonding, permanent dipoles, and the very important London force or London dispersion force, a form of van der Waals forces. These instantaneous, induced dipoles are often new to the organic student and initially somewhat perplexing to one who has learned ionic and covalent bonding in a simpler form. The Chemistry Professor uses animations to describe these induced dipoles and accompanies these animations with clear explanations. The Chemistry Professor never tires of repeating explanations whenever needed.

Another of the characteristics of organic molecules and one that students frequently meet in the laboratory is solubility of organic structures in a variety of solvents. This unit addresses those factors impacting solubility and does so using animation techniques. These techniques help the student understand the importance and impact of such factors as hydrogen bonding, permanent dipoles, and van der Waals forces, as well as the dielectric constant of water.

The major classes or organic compounds are introduced here:  alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, ethers, carboxylic acids, acid chlorides, esters, amines, amides, nitriles, and several types of aromatics structures. The goal is to have students recognize and remember these basic types of structures because reactions and preparations of one particular class of compounds usually involve other classes of organics. To this end, the key structure in each is noted with appropriate examples to help the student remember those structures.




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