Organic Chemistry #1 (NOTES)

Organic Chemistry #1 (NOTES)

Author: Bryce Schoenherr

In this Organic Chemistry4You tutorial we will cover some of the basics in this field.

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Basic compounds and functional groups

Before You Start

   There is the normal chemistry and then there is organic chemistry.  Although I have been told that this is the subject that decides who is the most dedicated, don't worry.  This has been created to solve all your problems.  I don't want to get much into introductions, but I will include some histories of things even though you can pass over those parts (they won't be on the quiz except in organic chemistry history tutorials).

Concept to Know-Molecules and Bonds

   In this tutorial, we will use the five most common atoms in the world including their number of bonds:

Carbon 4
Hydrogen 1
Oxygen 2
Nitrogen 3
Phosphorus 5

   Each of these are called the CBB(carbon backbone) because everything else builds off of that.  Once you are done creating the backbone and functional groups(in the next lesson), you add a hydrogen to fill each open bond.

Hint-Naming Molecules

   I ordered them from most common to least common (fifth most common).  This is the same order that you use to name a molecule.  That is why water is called HO.  Hydrogen is more common than oxygen and therefore, hydrogen is put first.

Concept to Know-Shells

   There is a reason that atoms like molecules have less bonds than electrons.  I wanted to explain this because I knew some of you were thinking, "But wait...!  Don't atoms share electrons when they 'join' together?"  They do share electrons, but each atom has a thing called a shell.  The first shell(sometimes called the inner shell depending on the number of electrons),contains a maximum of two electrons.  The next shell contains a maximum of eight electrons.  Atoms will stop at nothing to fill their shells before bad things happen.


   Oxygen has eight electrons which fills up the first shell and takes up six of the eight spots on the second shell (it has two bonds available).  Hydrogen has only one electron and because of that, has one bond available.  If two hydrogens share a bond with an oxygen, all the shells are full and this molecule, water, is stable.

Big Idea-Organic Compounds

Concept to Know-Alkanes

   Alkanes are one of the most simple molecules not only because of their composition but because of their name.  All alkanes end in -ane.  Alkanes are made up of carbon and hydrogen.  Depending on the alkane, it will have various numbers of carbons attached to each other with hydrogens in the open spaces.

Concept to Know-Alkenes

   Alkenes are very similar to alkanes, except they have a thing called a double bond.  This is where there are two bonds in between two atoms.  Alkenes must have at least one double bond.  Notice that there cannot be a methane because it doesn't have anything in the carbon backbone to have a double bond with.  Don't forget too, that you can just drop the -ane on a molecule and add -ene if it falls into this category.

Concept to Know-Alkynes

   Alkynes have the ending -yne, and their difference from alkanes and alkenes, is that they have at least one triple bond.  You may be thinking this already because of what I said in the alkene section, but there is no such thing as a methyne or a ethyne.

Concept to Know-Cyclic Structure

   Cyclic molecules have all the atoms in the carbon backbone sort of forming a polygon.  In order to name these, you add the prefix cyclo-.  The picture below shows a cyclohexane and a cyclobutane filled out.


  • Names of atoms and numbers of bonds
  • Shells MUST be filled out
  • Alkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alkynes
  • Cyclic Structures


Script Writer: Bryce Schoenherr

Head Scientist: {PRIVATE}

Scientists: Bryce Schoenherr