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Optical Isomers (enantiomers)

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Key Questions

  • Answer:

    You interconvert any two groups on the chiral carbons.


    For example, the structure of 2-brombutane is


    We can convert this to its enantiomer by interchanging any two groups.

    We often interchange the groups on the wedges and dashes, as below.

    WD Interconvert

    It is not immediately obvious that these are mirror images of each other.

    If we rotate the top structure 180 ° about the axis and put it below our original structure, we get


    The red line represents a mirror plane that shows the enantiomers.

    It is often easier to interconvert the bonds in the plane of the paper. This gives us

    Solid Interconvert

    Here, the red line represents a vertical mirror plane with the two enantiomers.

    There are other possibilities.

    It just shows that we must practice viewing molecules in three dimensions.

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  • anor277 answered · 4 months ago
  • anor277 answered · 8 months ago