What are chiral and achiral molecules?

1 Answer
Apr 17, 2015

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A molecule is considered chiral if there exists another molecule that is of identical composition but which is arranged in a non-superposable mirror image. Also the presence of an asymmetric carbon atom is often the feature that causes chirality in molecules.

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Two mirror images of a chiral molecule are called enantiomers or optical isomers. Pairs of enantiomers are often designated as "right-" and "left-handed".


Molecular chirality is of interest because of its application to stereochemistry in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry, and supramolecular chemistry.