Now we’re going to discuss the most important intermediate of all organic chemistry, the carbocation.
Concept #1: Determining Carbocation Stability
Carbocations are stabilized by a phenomenon called hyperconjugation.
Hyperconjugation is the delocalization of charge by the interaction of an empty p-orbital with an adjacent, eclipsed σ-bond. Basically it’s like resonance for single bonds (more complicated than that but don’t worry about it).
Since this is only possible with -R groups, the more substituted the carbocation, the more stable.
Which of the following leaving groups would generate the most stable carbocation?
Example #1: Which of the following leaving groups would generate the most stable carbocation?