Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

WikiPremed Resources

Module 9 in the Syllabus

Alkyl Halides Mechanisms
Mechanisms and explanations from the Organic Mechanisms Pocketbook

Reactions of Alkyl Halides Images
Image gallery for study with links to larger teaching JPEGs for classroom presentation

Question Drill for Reactions of Alkyl Halides
Conceptual Vocabulary Self-Test

Basic Terms Crossword Puzzle

Basic Puzzle Solution

Conceptual Vocabulary
HaloalkaneThe haloalkanes or alkyl halides are a group of chemical compounds, consisting of alkanes, such as methane or ethane, with one or more halogens linked, such as chlorine or fluorine.
Substitution reactionIn a substitution reaction, a functional group in a particular chemical compound is replaced by another group.
Nucleophilic substitutionNucleophilic substitution is a fundamental class of substitution reaction in which an electron rich nucleophile selectively bonds with or attacks the positive charge of a group or atom called the leaving group.
Elimination reactionAn elimination reaction is a type of organic reaction in which two substituents are removed from a molecule in either a one or two-step mechanism.
CarbocationA carbocation is an ion with a positively-charged carbon atom which are intermediates in the E1 and SN1 mechanisms involving reaction with haloalkanes.
Leaving groupA leaving group such as halide is an atom or group of atoms which may detach relatively easily from a chemical substance.
SN1 reactionThe SN1 reaction is a nucleophilic substitution reaction in organic chemistry in which the rate-determining step is unimolecular.
E1 mechanismE1 is a model to explain a particular type of chemical elimination reaction in which there is a two-step process of elimination ionization and deprotonation.
E2 mechanismE2 is a model to explain a particular type of chemical elimination reaction in which there is a one-step process of elimination with a single transition state.
SN2 reactionThe SN2 reaction is a type of nucleophilic substitution in which a lone pair from a nucleophile attacks an electron deficient electrophilic center and bonds to it, expelling another group from the opposite side called a leaving group.
Williamson ether synthesisThe Williamson ether synthesis involves the reaction of an alkoxide ion with a primary alkyl halide via an SN2 reaction.
Polar aprotic solventPolar aprotic solvents are solvents that share ion dissolving power with protic solvents but lack an acidic hydrogen. These are favorable solvents for SN2 reactions.
RacemizationIn chemistry racemization refers to partial conversion of one enantiomer into another, which often occurs in SN1 substitution.
Gilman reagentGilman reagents are lithium and copper reagent compounds which are useful because they react with chlorides, bromides, and iodides to replace the halide group with an alkyl group.
Advanced terms that may appear in context in MCAT passages
Walden inversionWalden inversion is the inversion of configuration of a chiral centre in a molecule in a chemical reaction. It is encountered in for example a SN2 reaction.
AlkylationAlkylation is the transfer of an alkyl group from one molecule to another.
Corey-House synthesisThe Corey-House synthesis is an organic reaction that involves the reaction of a lithium dialkyl cuprate with an alkyl halide to form a new alkane.
Wurtz reactionThe Wurtz reaction is a coupling reaction in organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry and recently inorganic main group polymers, whereby two alkyl halides are reacted with sodium to form a new carbon-carbon bond.

The WikiPremed MCAT Course is a free comprehensive course in the undergraduate level general sciences. Undergraduate level physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology are presented by this course as a unified whole within a spiraling curriculum.

Please read our policies on privacy and shipping & returns.  Contact Us.
MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which does not endorse the WikiPremed Course.

Creative Commons License
The work of WikiPremed is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License. There are elements of work here, such as a subset of the images in the archive from WikiPedia, that originated as GNU General Public License works, so take care to follow the unique stipulations of that license in printed reproductions. You can use the resources here for commercial or non-commercial purposes, but please give attribution and a link to the production credits and edit history of the resource. For the works here which began as my individual work, please attribute "John Wetzel, an author at".