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Reaction Mechanisms

Organic reaction mechanisms vocabulary

TermDefinition
Carbocation An alkyl group carrying a single positive charge on one of its carbon atoms.
Electrophile A species that can act as an acceptor of a pair of electrons in an organic mechanism.
Elimination A reaction in which a small molecule, such as water or HCl, is removed from an organic molecule.
Free radical A very reactive atom or molecule that has a single unpaired electron.
Free-radical substitution The reaction in which halogen atoms substitute for hydrogen atoms in alkanes in three steps: initiation, propagation and termination.
Initiation step The first step in the mechanism of free-radical substitution of alkanes by halogens. It involves the breaking of the halogen-halogen bond by UV light from the Sun to form radicals.
Friedel-Crafts reaction The electrophilic substitution of an alkyl or acyl group group into a benzene ring.
Nucleophile A species that can act as a donor of a pair of electrons.
Nucleophilic Adddition The mechanism of the reaction in which a nucleophile attacks the electron deficient carbon atom in a carbonyl group and adds across the C=O bond.
Propagation Step A step in a free-radical mechanism in which the radicals formed can then attack reactant molecules generating more free-radicals in a chain reaction.
Second-order nucleophilic substitution The steps in a nucleophilic substitution reaction in which the rate of the reaction invloves two reacting species- the halogenoalkane and the nucleophile.
First-order nucleophilic substitution The steps in a nucleophilic substitution reaction in which the rate of the reaction invloves one reacting species- the halogenoalkane.
Substitution A reaction that involves the replacement of one atom, or group of atoms in a molecule, by another.
Termination step The final step in a free-radical mechanism in which two free radicals react together to form a molecule.
Created by: SherineSmith