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Organic chemistry
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Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, and reactions of organic compounds.

Organic nomenclature

Organic nomenclature is the system established for naming and grouping organic compounds.

Aliphatic compounds

Hydrocarbons - Alkanes - Alkenes - Dienes or Alkadienes - Alkynes - Halogenoalkanes - Alcohols - Mercaptans - Ethers - Aldehydes - Ketones - Carboxylic acids - Esters - Carbohydrates - Alicyclic compounds - Amides - Amines - Lipids - Nitriles

Aromatic compounds

Benzene - Toluene - Xylene - Aniline - Phenol - Acetophenone - Benzonitrile - Halogenoarenes - Naphthalene - Anthracene - Phenanthrene - Benzopyrene - Coronene - Azulene - Biphenyl

Heterocyclic compounds

Pyridine - Pyrrole - Thiophene - Furan - Imidazole


Polymers are a special kind of molecule. Generally considered "large" molecules, polymers are get their reputation regarding size because they are molecules that consist of multiple smaller segments. The segments could be chemically identical, which would make such a molecule a homopolymer. Or the segments could be vary in chemical structure, which would make that molecule a heteropolymer. Polymers are a subset of "macromolecules" which is just a classification for all molecules that are considered large.

Polymers can be organic or inorganic. Commonly-encountered polymers are usually organic (eg. polyethylene, polypropylene, Plexiglas, etc). But inorganic polymers are also familiar to everyday items (eg. silly putty, silicone, etc).


Organic nomenclature - Chemical formula - Structural formula - Skeletal formula - Organic reaction

Characteristics of organic substances

The reason that there are so many carbon compounds is that carbon has the ability to form many carbon chains of different lengths, and rings of different sizes (catenation). Many carbon compounds are extremely sensitive to heat, and generally decompose below 300'C. They tend to be less soluble in water compared to many inorganic salts. In contrast to such salts, they tend to be much more soluble in organic solvents such as ether or alcohol. Organic compounds are covalently bonded.


Organic chemistry as a science is generally agreed to have started with Friedrich Woehler's synthesis of the organic, biologically significant compound urea from inorganic starting materials in 1828.

See also

Analytical chemistry | Organic chemistry | Inorganic chemistry | Physical chemistry | Polymer chemistry | Biochemistry | Materials science | Environmental chemistry | Pharmacy | Thermochemistry | Electrochemistry | Nuclear chemistry | Computational chemistry
Periodic table | List of compounds