Effect Of An Alkyl Group And Solvent On The Rate Of Sn1 And Oxidation

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Introduction The purpose of this lab was to discover the effects that an alkyl group and solvent have on the rate of SN1 and SN2 reactions. Two separate mechanisms can be used to perform the nucleophilic substitution of alkyl halides: SN1 and SN2. A SN1 reaction, or unimolecular displacement, is a 1st order, nucleophilic substitution that involves two steps. The rate law for this reaction, Rate = k[Rx], doesn’t include the nucleophile in it.1 These two step reactions have a carbocation intermediate. SN1 reactions work best when the central carbon has as many bulky groups surrounding it as possible. These substituents increase the possibility of the carbocation intermediate forming by increasing the steric strain of the molecule. This idea is which causes a carbocation intermediate to develop in reactions of secondary or tertiary alkyl halides, and a primary alkyl halide to not be able to go through a SN1 reaction. The carbocation intermediate that forms is a sp2 carbon that allows the nucleophile to attack from both sides of the molecule. If neither attack is favored, they both occur equally, making it a racemic mixture. The solvent of choice for the SN1 reactions are both polar and protic, because a solvent that will not react with the carbocation intermediate is needed, since this will give an unwanted product. In polar protic solvents you get a hydrogen atom that is very highly polarized since it is attached to an electronegative atom, because of this it can interact

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