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Ethers

 Ethers are one of the well known forms of organic compounds. The ether group will be usually connected to an oxygen atom, which will again be connected to two or more aryl of alkylor groups. The general formula of ethers is R-O-R. The best example for ethers would be the diethyl ethers, solvents etc. you would often come across ethers in organic chemistry. Moreover, ethers are the most common linkages in both lignin as well as carbohydrates. The C-O-C linkage will be very much featured by the ethers. The linkage will be defined with 110°  bond angle. On the other hand, the distance between the carbon and the oxygen atoms is said to be 1.4 Å. There is not much strong barrier applied for the rotation of the bonds that connect the C and O atoms. The similar thing in water, alcohols and ethers is that they will be having same kind of bonding for oxygen.

 Coming to the kind of hybridization found in the ethers, as per the VBT (Valence Bond Theory) language, the ethers are said to have sp3 kind of hybridization. As a matter of fact, the electro-negativity of carbon is quite low compared to that of an oxygen atom. Therefore, it is obvious that the hydrocarbons will be quite low acidic when compared to alpha hydrogens. Speaking about the nomenclature of ethers, it is done about by compositing two substituents, which are next to ether.

Coming to the physical properties of ethers, there is no possibility of forming bonds of hydrogens between the ether molecules. Hence, there is no doubt that the boiling point of ethers will be quite low, especially when compared to analogous alcohols. Since the angle of the bonds that the functional group has, is of 110°, these molecules will be a bit polar.

Questions:

  • Why do ethers have low boiling compared to analogous alcohol?
  • What are the major physical properties of ethers?



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