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Condensed Structure

Key Questions

  • Answer:

    Condensed structural formulas are designed to be typed on a single line. Here are the rules.

    Explanation:

    • Write the atoms of the longest chain horizontally in the order in which they are connected.
      • You may combine repeating horizontal units in subscripted parentheses.
    • Write all of the ligands on an atom immediately to its right, with subscripts for multiples.
      • Exception: Write ligands on the leftmost atom immediately to its left.
    • Enclose polyatomic ligands in parentheses.
    • Use explicit bonds as needed to clarify attachments.
    • It is preferable to treat equivalent groups equally.

    Here are some examples of condensed structural formulas.

    #"CH"_3"CH"_2"CH"_2"CH"_2"CH"_2"CH"_3# and #"CH"_3("CH"_2)_4"CH"_3#

    #("CH"_3)_4"C"#

    #("CH"_3)_2"CHC(CH"_3)_2"CH"_2"CH"_3#

    #"CH"_3"CCl"_2"CH"_2"CH"_3#

    #"HOCH"_2"CH"_2"OH"#

    #"CH"_3"COCH"_3# and #"CH"_3"C(=O)CH"_3# and #("CH"_3)_2"C=O"#

    #"ClCH"_2"COOH"# and #"ClCH"_2"C(=O)OH"#

    #"CH"_3"CH"_2"C≡N"# and #"CH"_3"CH"_2"CN"#

    #"CH"_3"CON(CH"_3)_2# and #"CH"_3"C(=O)N(CH"_3)_2#

    #"CH"_3"CH(COOCH"_3)_2#

    #"CH"_3"CH(OH)CH"_3#

  • Both molecular and condensed structural formulas are written on a single line of text, but

    • A molecular formula tells only the numbers of atoms of each element in a molecule of the compound.
    • A condensed structure shows all atoms, but it omits the vertical bonds and most or all of the horizontal single bonds.

    For example, both ethanol and dimethyl ether have the molecular formula #"C"_2"H"_6"O"#.

    But the condensed structure of ethanol is #"CH"_3"CH"_2"OH"#, while for dimethyl ether the condensed structure is #"CH"_3"OCH"_3#.

    A condensed structure uses parentheses to show that polyatomic groups within a formula are attached to the nearest non-hydrogen atom on the left.

    So the condensed structural formula of propan-2-ol is #"CH"_3"CH(OH)CH"_3#.

    It also uses parentheses to show that polyatomic groups at the beginning of a formula are attached to atom on the right.

    So we could also write the condensed structural formula of propan-2-ol as #("CH"_3)_2"CHOH"#.

    And we could write the condensed structural formula of hexane as #"CH"_3"CH"_2"CH"_2"CH"_2"CH"_2"CH"_3# or #"CH"_3 "(CH"_2)_4"CH"_3#.

  • A condensed structural formula is a system of writing organic structures in a line of text

    It shows all atoms, but omits the vertical bonds and most or all the horizontal single bonds.

    The condensed structural formulas of ethane, propane, and ethanol are

    CH₃CH₃, CH₃CH₂CH₃, and CH₃CH₂OH

    It uses parentheses to show that polyatomic groups within a formula are attached to the nearest non-hydrogen atom on the left.

    So the condensed structural formula of propan-2-ol is CH₃CH(OH)CH₃.

    It also uses parentheses to show that polyatomic groups at the beginning of a formula are attached to atom on the right.

    So we could also write the condensed structural formula of propan-2-ol as (CH₃)₂CHOH.

    And we could write the condensed structural formula of hexane as CH₃CH₂CH₂CH₂CH₂CH₃ or CH₃(CH₂)₄CH₃.

    We could also write the following condensed structural formulas:

    propene: CH₃CH=CH₂

    propyne: CH₃C≡CH

    isopropyl methyl ether: (CH₃)₂CHOCH₃

    propanone: CH₃(C=O)CH₃ or CH₃COCH₃

    propanal: CH₃CH₂(C=O)H or CH₃CH₂CHO

    propanoic acid: CH₃CH₂(C=O)OH or CH₃CH₂COOH

    You may see the formula of 2,2,5,5-tetramethylhexane written as

    images.tutorvista.com

    Some chemists call this a structural formula. Others call it a condensed structural formula. It is a hybrid of both.

    A true condensed structure would be written on one line as CH₃C(CH₃)₂CH₂CH₂C(CH₃)₂CH₃ or (CH₃)₃CCH₂CH₂C(CH₃)₃.

    Here's a video on drawing condensed structures.

Questions