How does polarity affect SN1 reactions?
For many problems in organic chemistry, it is often a good idea to take a look at the mechanism in question. Here is the mechanism for a general
The first step involves bromine as leaving group breaking away to generate the carbocation (positively charged carbon compound). Once the carbocation is formed, the
Looking at solvent polarity, as a general rule, a highly polar solvent will stabilize a charged ionic species such as a carbocation much better than a non-polar solvent. This is because the solvent itself has partial positive and partial negative regions (i.e. dipole moments ) which could interact favorably with the charged carbocation.