Organic Compounds-Some Additional Classes
Although a tremendous number of different hydrocarbons occur as a result of carbon’s ability to bond in long chains, an even greater variety of substances is possible when oxygen, nitrogen, and several other elements with carbon and hydrogen. The presence of highly electronegative atomsThe smallest particle of an element that can be involved in chemical combination with another element; an atom consists of protons and neutrons in a tiny, very dense nucleus, surrounded by electrons, which occupy most of its volume. like oxygen or nitrogen in combination with hydrogen permits hydrogen bonds to form between molecules of many of these substances. We have deferred discussion of their properties until now so that you can apply your knowledge of hydrogen bonding to them.
We mentioned that alkanes were relatively unreactive and that the presence of a double or triple bondAttraction between two atoms (nuclei and core electrons) that results from sharing of three pairs of electrons between the atoms; a bond with bond order = 3. made unsaturated molecules more likely to combine chemically. A site which makes an organic molecule more reactive than a simple hydrocarbon chain is called a functional groupA set of atoms in a molecule that confer on the molecule a characteristic set of physical and chemical properties.. Many of the important organic functional groups involve oxygen atoms, nitrogen atoms, or both. We will discuss substances containing some of these functional groups in this section.