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Structural Isomers

Structural isomers determines the attachment or connectivity of their atoms with each other in a given molecular formula. They have different physical and chemical properties. The word isomer is taken from Greek, Iso mean equal and merits means parts.

For example: C2H6O has two structural formula:

CH3-CH2-OH            CH3-O-CH3

Ethanol               Dimethyl Ether

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Types of Structural Isomers

Basically, there are five types of structural isomers.

  1. Skeletal or Chain Isomers
  2. Positional Isomers
  3. Functional group Isomers
  4. Metameric Isomers
  5. Tautomerism

1. Skeletal or Chain Isomers

Isomers that differ with respect to branching of the carbon skeleton.

For example: C6H14

Skeletal or Chain Isomers

2. Positional Isomers

This type of isomers differ in the positions of the existed functional group(s).

For example: C3H7-OH


3. Functional Group Isomers

They are different in the types of their functional groups.

For example: Alcohols and Ethers

Alcohols and Ethers

4. Metameric Isomers

Those isomers having same functional group but attached with different alkyl groups.

For example: Ether with different alkyl groups

Ether with different alkyl groups

5. Tautomerism

This is a special kind of functional group isomerism, where a single molecule can be able to give the reaction properties of two different functional groups. This indicates that such compound occurs as a mixture of two functional group isomers in equilibrium with the other as a result of reversible migration of a hydrogen atom. Such reversible migration of hydrogen atoms will result in change in the functional group.

For Example: Ethyl acetoacetate ester

Ethyl acetoacetate ester

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