Mechanisms in Organic Chemistry


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The course can be broadly classified as a Physical Organic Chemistry course. Understanding organic reaction mechanisms are extremely useful in predicting the products and improving the reaction efficiency. A student needs to know basic concepts in order to be able to write reasonable reaction mechanisms. A mechanism cannot be considered valid unless there is experimental evidence to support it. The student needs to know basic experiments that can be used to validate reaction mechanisms. Learning outcomes for the course: At the end of the course, the student should be able to • Propose/write a mechanism for a given organic reaction. • Design experiments to determine reaction intermediates/mechanisms.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: Students studying ChemistryPREREQUISITES: Basic Organic Chemistry



Week 1: Broad classification of reactions and basics of arrow pushingWeek 2: Reaction co-ordinate diagrams
Week 3: Reaction Kinetics: rate laws and methods of determining concentration. Introduction to linear free energy relationshipsWeek 4: Linear Free Energy Relationships
Week 5: Kinetic and equilibrium isotope Effects
Week 6: Miscellaneous methods to determine mechanisms: isotope labelling, trapping of intermediates, checking for common intermediate, competition and cross-over experiments.
Week 7: Catalysis: classification and introduction to Bronstead acid catalysis
Week 8: Types of Catalysis: Acid, Binding, Electrophilic, Nucelophilic, Covalent, Proximity and Phase-transfer