Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

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The Chemical Bond


Nucleophiles and Electrophiles

Reactions of Alkenes

Let us discuss the nature of bonding in alkenes. sp2 hybrid orbitals give alkene carbons a trigonal planar geometry. The bond angle is 120°. The double bond between carbons consists of one σ bond between sp2 orbitals and one π bond between the remaining unhybridized p orbitals. The double bond lacks freedom of rotation, so there is a difference between cis and trans alkene isomers. The reactivity of alkenes in large part derives from the fact that the two π electrons are subject to attack by electrophiles. The the lack of double bond rotation leads to important stereochemical consequences in electrophilic addition reactions.

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