How does an SN2 reaction affect stereochemistry?

1 Answer
Dec 13, 2014

In an #"S"_"N"2# reaction, the stereochemistry of the product is inverted compared to that of the substrate.

An #"S"_"N"2# reaction is a backside attack. The nucleophile attacks the electrophilic center on the side that is opposite to the leaving group.

During a backside attack, the stereochemistry at the carbon atom changes. There is inversion of configuration.

Here’s a video on #"S"_"N"2# stereochemistry.