Formulas and Structural Isomerism

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: chunks-42
  • Created on: 20-05-15 11:22

Representing Organic Compounds

General Formula - An algebraic formula that can describe any member of a family of compounds.

Empirical Formula - The simplest ratio of each element in a compound (cancel the numbers down if possible)

Molecular Formula - The actual of atoms of each element in a molecule.

Structural Formula - Shows the atoms carbon by carbon, with the attatched hydrogens and functional groups.

Displayed Formula - Shows all the atoms are arranged and all the bonds between them.

1 of 3

Structural Isomers

In structural isomers the atoms are connected in different ways. But they still have the same molecular formula. There are three types of structural isomers:

Chain isomers - Chain isomers have different arrangements of the carbon skeleton. Some are straight chains and others branched in different ways.

Positional Isomers - Positional isomers have the same skeleton and the same atoms or groups of atoms attatched. The difference is that the atom or group of atoms is attached to a different atom.

Functional Group Isomers - Functional group isomers have the same atoms arranged into different functional groups.

2 of 3

Don't be fooled!

Attoms can rotate as much as they like around single C-C bonds. Remember this when you work out structural isomers - sometimes what looks like an isomer isn't.


3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar Chemistry resources:

See all Chemistry resources »See all Alkanes and Organic Chemistry resources »