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Electrophilic substitution

Electrophilic substitution reactions are chemical reactions in which an electrophile displaces another group, typically but not always hydrogen. Electrophilic substitution is characteristic of aromatic compounds. Electrophilic aromatic substitution is an important way of introducing functional groups on benzene rings. The other main reaction type is electrophilic aliphatic substitution.

Electrophilic aromatic substitution

The most important reactions of this type that take place are aromatic nitration, aromatic halogenation, aromatic sulfonation and acylation and alkylating Friedel-Crafts reactions.

Electrophilic aliphatic substitution

In electrophilic substitution in aliphatic compounds, an electrophile displaces a functional group. This reaction is similar to nucleophilic aliphatic substitution where the reactant is a nucleophile rather than an electrophile. The two electrophilic reaction mechanisms, SE1 and SE2 (Substitution Electrophilic), are also similar to the nucleophile counterparts SN1 and SN2. In the SE1 course of action the substrate first ionizes into a carbanion and a positively charged organic residue. The carbanion then quickly recombines with the electrophile. The SE2 reaction mechanism has a single transition state in which the old bond and the newly formed bond are both present.

Electrophilic aliphatic substitution reactions are:


  • March, Jerry (1985). Advanced Organic Chemistry, 5th ed, Wiley. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Electrophilic_substitution". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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