MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

508 views

When composing a mechanism in organic chemistry, how do I use curly arrows?

There are a few things to learn about the use of curly arrows. Once you've grasped the basics, though, you'll be able to use them with simplicity and clarity no matter how complicated the mechanism is!

The first thing to remember is that the arrow should start on something which represents a pair of electrons. This is most commonly either a lone pair of electrons, or a filled π orbital in a double bond. This is to say that the arrow starts off where the electrons start off.

The second thing is that the arrow-head should point to the place where the electrons are going. If the electrons are forming a new bond, they will be shared between two atoms, and so the arrow-head should point between the two atoms. In short, the arrow ends up where the electrons end up.

As with any other concept in chemistry, the best strategy to master curly arrows is practice! Always remember that clarity is key when composing a mechanism, so draw the structure which best avoids confusion.

Marc L. A Level Chemistry tutor

1 year ago

Answered by Marc, an A Level Chemistry tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

121 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Javed R.

Degree: Biomedical Engineering (Bachelors) - Liverpool University

Subjects offered:Chemistry, Maths

Chemistry
Maths

“Postgraduate Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Strathclyde. Past classroom experience.”

£22 /hr

Xanthe W.

Degree: Biological Sciences with a Year in Industry/Research (Bachelors) - Imperial College London University

Subjects offered:Chemistry, Maths+ 1 more

Chemistry
Maths
Biology

“Top tutor from the renowned Russell university group, ready to help you improve your grades.”

£20 /hr

Ollie F.

Degree: Biochemistry (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:Chemistry, Science+ 5 more

Chemistry
Science
Physics
Maths
Extended Project Qualification
Biology
-Personal Statements-

“A little bit about me: I'm a Biochemistry student at Bristol University. I've always been facinated with how the world world works both on a smaller and larger scale. The human body has always been an interest of mine, in particular h...”

About the author

Marc L.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: Chemistry (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered:Chemistry

Chemistry

“I'm enthusiastic because I love the wonder of chemistry, but I'm patient and understanding because I remember the drudgery of A-level. I'm compassionate and friendly as a tutor because that's what it takes to bridge the gap between the...”

You may also like...

Other A Level Chemistry questions

Explain why the enthalpy of lattice dissociation of potassium oxide is less endothermic than that of sodium oxide.

What is chirality? Why is it seen in amino acids?

Why are solutions of transition metal ions often coloured

Name the type of reaction and outline the mechanism for the reaction of the alcohol (CH3)2CHOH with the acyl chloride CH3COCl. Explain which orbitals take part in the reaction.

View A Level Chemistry tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok