There are now much more than ten million organic compounds well-known by chemists. Many an ext undoubtedly exist in nature, and organic chemists room continually producing (synthesizing) new ones. Carbon is the only aspect that can kind so numerous different compounds because each carbon atom can kind four chemical bonds to other atoms, and because the carbon atom is just the right, little size to fit in comfortable as parts of very big molecules.
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Having the atomic number 6, every carbon atom has a total of 6 electrons. Two space in a completed inner orbit, while the other four are valence electrons—outer electrons the are accessible for forming bonds with various other atoms.
The carbon atom"s four valence electrons have the right to be common by various other atoms that have actually electrons come share, thus forming covalent (shared-electron) bonds. They can even be common by other carbon atoms, i m sorry in turn deserve to share electrons with other carbon atoms and also so on, developing long strings that carbon atoms, bonded to each other like web links in a chain. Silicon (Si), another element in team 14 the the periodic table, also has 4 valence electrons and can make large molecules referred to as silicones, but its atoms space too big to fit together right into as great a selection of molecules as carbon atom can.
Carbon"s capability to type long carbon-to-carbon chains is the first of five reasons that there deserve to be so numerous different carbon compounds; a molecule that differs by also one atom is, of course, a molecule of a different compound. The 2nd reason because that carbon"s astounding compound-forming capacity is the carbon atoms have the right to bind to each other not just in directly chains, yet in complex branchings, like the branches the a tree. Lock can even join "head-to-tail" to do rings that carbon atoms. Over there is virtually no border to the number or intricacy of the branches or the number of rings that have the right to be attached come them, and hence no border to the variety of different molecule that can be formed.
The third reason is the carbon atoms have the right to share not just a solitary electron with an additional atom to form a single bond, yet it can likewise share 2 or three electrons, forming a twin or triple bond. This provides for a huge variety of possible bond combinations at different places, do a huge variety of different feasible molecules. And also a molecule the differs by even one atom or one bond place is a molecule the a various compound.
The fourth reason is that the same arsenal of atoms and also bonds, however in a different geometrical arrangement within the molecule, provides a molecule with a various shape and also hence different properties. These different molecules are called isomers.
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The fifth reason is that all of the electron that room not being provided to bond carbon atoms together right into chains and also rings have the right to be offered to kind bonds v atoms that several other elements. The most common other element is hydrogen, which makes the household of compounds recognized as hydrocarbons. However nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur, halogens, and several various other kinds of atom can also be fastened as part of an organic molecule. There is a huge number of ways in which they have the right to be attached come the carbon-atom branches, and also each variation renders a molecule the a various compound. It"s just as if moving a Christmas tree ornament from one branch to one more created a fully different tree.
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