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Periodic Properties

The Chemical Bond

Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry

In the topic of Chemical Bonding, we discussed VSEPR (Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory), which, based on the number of regions of high electron density around a central atom can be used to predict structures of certain molecules or ions. VSEPR questions on the MCAT are relatively common, especially those involving geometries in which nonbonded pairs of electrons are occupying positions in the geometry. There is a tendency for less-informed students to forget the nonbonded pairs and assign an incorrect geometry. You should be prepared for VSEPR questions involving amines. Amines possess a structure based on the tetrahedron with one position occupied by a nonbonding pair, so the geometry of substituents around nitrogen in an amine is pyramidal.

Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry

Molecular Spectroscopy

The IR spectrum of a primary amines contain two peaks in the range 3000 to 3500 cm-1, which represent symmetric and anti-symmetric N-H stretching vibrations. A secondary amine will have only one peak in this region. 1H NMR spectra of amines are similar to those of alcohols, although there is a moderate increase in the degree of shielding.

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