Solvents

Solvents are the mostly inert compounds that provide a medium for the reaction to take place in. 

Although extremely important in lab, they rarely affect the outcome of a written reaction in Orgo 1. In fact, for the purposes of this course, I will usually have you ignore solvents in questions requiring you to predict mechanisms.

There are exceptions to the above reaction format. If reagents are numbered, several may be both above and below the arrow. However, may simple reactions do follow this format. 

Polar solvents are solvents which contain a net dipole.

  • Aprotic Solvents are solvents that cannot display hydrogen-bonding.
  • Protic Solvents are solvents that display hydrogen-bonding (this stabilizes carbocations, but hinders nucleophiles)
  • Therefore, we will prefer to run SN1 & E1 in protic solvents, and SN2 & E2 in aprotic solvents.

Example: Identify the following solvents as apolar, polar aprotic or polar protic. 

2m

Example: Identify the following solvents as apolar, polar aprotic or polar protic. 

1m

Example: Identify the following solvents as apolar, polar aprotic or polar protic. 

1m

Example: Identify the following solvents as apolar, polar aprotic or polar protic. 

1m

Example: Identify the following solvents as apolar, polar aprotic or polar protic. 

1m

Example: Identify the following solvents as apolar, polar aprotic or polar protic. 

1m

Example: Identify the following solvents as apolar, polar aprotic or polar protic. 

1m

Example: Identify the following solvents as apolar, polar aprotic or polar protic. 

2m