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The Magic Wand of Proton Transfer

When textbooks (or your teacher/TA/tutor) start writing down reaction mechanisms, sometimes  you’ll see hell of a lot of curved arrows. The curved arrow notation is useful

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Carbonyls: 10 key concepts (Part 2)

5 more key concepts: Carbonyls make adjacent alkyl groups more acidic, the more electrophilic the carbonyl, the more acidic its alpha protons, carbonyls activate alkenes toward nucleophilic attack, reactivity of alpha beta unsaturated carbonyls is proportional to the stability of its enolate, enolates are nucleophiles.

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Summary Sheet: Additions to Carbonyls

I put together this summary sheet for the reaction of nucleophiles with carbonyls (click for larger image, see link to downloadable PDF below). It summarizes the two key concepts that are important to understand for these reactions: the effect of electronic and steric factors on nucleophilic addition.

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