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In
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
, organic compounds are generally any
chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) containing atoms from more than one chemical element held together by chemical bonds. A homonuclear molecule, molecule co ...
s that contain
carbon Carbon () is a chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalence, tetravalent—its atom making four electrons available to form covalent bond, covalent chemical bonds. It belongs to gro ...
-
hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol H and atomic number 1. Hydrogen is the lightest element. At standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions hydrogen is a gas of diatomic molecules having the chemical ...
or carbon-carbon bonds. Due to carbon's ability to catenate (form chains with other carbon
atom Every atom is composed of a atomic nucleus, nucleus and one or more electrons bound to the nucleus. The nucleus is made of one or more protons and a number of neutrons. Only the most common variety of hydrogen has no neutrons. Every solid, l ...
s), millions of organic compounds are known. The study of the properties, reactions, and syntheses of organic compounds comprise the discipline known as
organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the science, scientific study of the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and organic materials, i.e., matter in its various forms that contain carbon atoms.Clay ...
. For historical reasons, a few classes of carbon-containing compounds (e.g., carbonate salts and cyanide salts), along with a few other exceptions (e.g.,
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide ( chemical formula ) is a chemical compound made up of molecules that each have one carbon Carbon () is a chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalence, tetraval ...
,
hydrogen cyanide Hydrogen cyanide, sometimes called prussic acid, is a chemical compound with the formula HCN and structure . It is a colorless, extremely poisonous, and flammable liquid that boils slightly above room temperature, at . HCN is produced on ...
), are not classified as organic compounds and are considered
inorganic In chemistry, an inorganic compound is typically a chemical compound that lacks carbon–hydrogen bonds, that is, a compound that is not an organic compound. The study of inorganic compounds is a subfield of chemistry known as ''inorganic chemistr ...
. Other than those just named, little consensus exists among
chemist A chemist (from Greek ''chēm(ía)'' alchemy; replacing ''chymist'' from Medieval Latin ''alchemist'') is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties. Chemists carefully describe th ...
s on precisely which carbon-containing compounds are excluded, making any rigorous definition of an organic compound elusive. Although organic compounds make up only a small percentage of
Earth's crust Earth's crust is Earth's thin outer shell of Rock (geology), rock, referring to less than 1% of Earth's radius and volume. It is the top component of the lithosphere, a division of Earth's layers that includes the Crust (geology), crust and the ...
, they are of central importance because all known life is based on organic compounds. Living things incorporate inorganic carbon compounds into organic compounds through a network of processes ( the carbon cycle) that begins with the conversion of carbon dioxide and a hydrogen source like
water Water (chemical formula ) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living ...
into
simple sugars Monosaccharides (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family. **Proto-Greek language, t ...
and other organic
molecule A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by attractive forces known as chemical bonds; depending on context, the term may or may not include ions which satisfy this criterion. In quantum physics, organic chemistry, and bioche ...
s by autotrophic organisms using light (
photosynthesis Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel the organism's activities. Some of this chemica ...
) or other sources of energy. Most synthetically-produced organic compounds are ultimately derived from
petrochemical Petrochemicals (sometimes abbreviated as petchems) are the product (chemistry), chemical products obtained from petroleum by refining. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal or natural ...
s consisting mainly of
hydrocarbon In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are examples of group 14 hydrides. Hydrocarbons are generally colourless and Hydrophobe, hydrophobic, and their odors are usuall ...
s, which are themselves formed from the high pressure and temperature degradation of organic matter underground over geological timescales. This ultimate derivation notwithstanding, organic compounds are no longer defined as compounds originating in living things, as they were historically. In chemical nomenclature, an
organyl group In Organic chemistry, organic and organometallic chemistry, an organyl group is an organic substituent with one (sometimes more) free valence(-s) at a carbon atom.. The term is often used in chemical Patent, patent literature to protect claims ove ...
, frequently represented by the letter R, refers to any monovalent
substituent A substituent is one or a group of atoms that replaces (one or more) atoms, thereby becoming a moiety (chemistry), moiety in the resultant (new) molecule. (In organic chemistry and biochemistry, the terms ''substituent'' and ''functional group'' ...
whose open valence is on a carbon atom.


Definitions of organic vs inorganic

For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds, such as
carbide In chemistry, a carbide usually describes a binary phase, compound composed of carbon and a metal. In metallurgy, carbiding or carburizing is the process for producing carbide coatings on a metal piece. Interstitial / Metallic carbides The ca ...
s,
carbonate A carbonate is a salt (chemistry), salt of carbonic acid (H2CO3), characterized by the presence of the carbonate ion, a polyatomic ion with the formula . The word ''carbonate'' may also refer to a carbonate ester, an organic compound containin ...
s (excluding
carbonate ester In organic chemistry, a carbonate ester (organic carbonate or organocarbonate) is an ester of carbonic acid. This functional group consists of a carbonyl group flanked by two alkoxy groups. The general structure of these carbonates is and they a ...
s), simple
oxides of carbon In chemistry, an oxocarbon or oxide of carbon is a chemical compound consisting only of carbon and oxygen. The simplest and most common oxocarbons are carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (). Many other stable (practically if not thermodynamica ...
(for example, CO and CO2), and
cyanide Cyanide is a naturally occurring, rapidly acting, toxic chemical that can exist in many different forms. In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers th ...
s are considered
inorganic In chemistry, an inorganic compound is typically a chemical compound that lacks carbon–hydrogen bonds, that is, a compound that is not an organic compound. The study of inorganic compounds is a subfield of chemistry known as ''inorganic chemistr ...
. Different forms (
allotropes Allotropy or allotropism () is the property of some chemical element A chemical element is a species of atoms that have a given number of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei, including the pure Chemical substance, substance consistin ...
) of pure carbon, such as
diamond Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure In crystallography, crystal structure is a description of the ordered arrangement of atoms, ions or molecules in a crystal, crystalline material ...
,
graphite Graphite () is a crystalline A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents (such as atoms, molecules, or ions) are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in al ...
,
fullerene A fullerene is an allotropes of carbon, allotrope of carbon whose molecule consists of carbon atoms connected by single and double bonds so as to form a closed or partially closed mesh, with fused rings of five to seven atoms. The molecule ma ...
s, and
carbon nanotube A scanning tunneling microscopy image of a single-walled carbon nanotube Rotating single-walled zigzag carbon nanotube A carbon nanotube (CNT) is a tube made of carbon with diameters typically measured in nanometers. ''Single-wall carbon na ...
s are also excluded because they are simple substances composed of only a single element and therefore are not generally considered to be chemical ''compounds''. It is also important to note that the word "organic" in this context does not mean "natural."


History


Vitalism

Vitalism Vitalism is a belief that starts from the premise that "living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things." Wher ...
was a widespread conception that substances found in organic nature are formed from the chemical elements by the action of a "vital force" or "life-force" (''vis vitalis'') that only living organisms possess. In the 1810s, Jöns Jacob Berzelius argued that a regulative force must exist within living bodies. Berzelius also contended that compounds could be distinguished by whether they required any organisms in their
synthesis Synthesis or synthesize may refer to: Science Chemistry and biochemistry *Chemical synthesis, the execution of chemical reactions to form a more complex molecule from chemical precursors **Organic synthesis, the chemical synthesis of organi ...
(organic compounds) or whether they did not (
inorganic compounds In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, struct ...
). Vitalism taught that formation of these "organic" compounds were fundamentally different from the "inorganic" compounds that could be obtained from the elements by chemical manipulations in laboratories. Vitalism survived for a short period after the formulation of modern ideas about the
atomic theory Atomic theory is the scientific theory A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural science, natural world and universe that has been reproducibility, repeatedly tested and corroborated in accordance with the scientifi ...
and
chemical element A chemical element is a species of atoms that have a given number of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei, including the pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of that species. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements canno ...
s. It first came under question in 1824, when Friedrich Wöhler synthesized
oxalic acid Oxalic acid is an organic acid with the systematic name ethanedioic acid and chemical formula, formula . It is the simplest dicarboxylic acid. It is a white crystalline solid that forms a colorless solution in water. Its name comes from the fact ...
, a compound known to occur only in living organisms, from
cyanogen Cyanogen is the chemical compound with the chemical formula, formula (carbon, Cnitrogen, N)2. It is a Transparency and translucency, colorless and highly toxic gas with a pungency, pungent odor. The molecule is a pseudohalogen. Cyanogen molecule ...
. A further experiment was Wöhler's 1828 synthesis of
urea Urea, also known as carbamide, is an organic compound with chemical formula . This amide has two Amine, amino groups (–) joined by a carbonyl functional group (–C(=O)–). It is thus the simplest amide of carbamic acid. Urea serves an impor ...
from the inorganic
salts In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, stru ...
potassium cyanate and
ammonium sulfate Ammonium sulfate (American English and international scientific usage; ammonium sulphate in British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from tha ...
. Urea had long been considered an "organic" compound, as it was known to occur only in the urine of living organisms. Wöhler's experiments were followed by many others, in which increasingly complex "organic" substances were produced from "inorganic" ones without the involvement of any living organism, thus disproving vitalism.


Modern classification and ambiguities

Although vitalism has been discredited, scientific nomenclature retains the distinction between ''organic'' and ''inorganic'' compounds. The modern meaning of ''organic compound'' is any compound that contains a significant amount of carbon—even though many of the organic compounds known today have no connection to any substance found in living organisms. The term ''carbogenic'' has been proposed by E. J. Corey as a modern alternative to ''organic'', but this neologism remains relatively obscure. The organic compound L-isoleucine molecule presents some features typical of organic compounds:
carbon–carbon bond A carbon–carbon bond is a covalent bond A covalent bond is a chemical bond A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atoms or ions that enables the formation of Molecule, molecules and crystals. The bond may result from the C ...
s,
carbon–hydrogen bond In chemistry, the carbon-hydrogen bond ( bond) is a chemical bond between carbon and hydrogen atoms that can be found in many organic compounds. This bond is a covalent bond, covalent, single bond, meaning that carbon shares its outer valence elec ...
s, as well as covalent bonds from carbon to oxygen and to nitrogen. As described in detail below, any definition of organic compound that uses simple, broadly-applicable criteria turns out to be unsatisfactory, to varying degrees. The modern, commonly accepted definition of organic compound essentially amounts to any carbon-containing compound, excluding several classes of substances traditionally considered 'inorganic'. However, the list of substances so excluded varies from author to author. Still, it is generally agreed upon that there are (at least) a few carbon-containing compounds that should not be considered organic. For instance, almost all authorities would require the exclusion of
alloys An alloy is a mixture In chemistry, a mixture is a material made up of two or more different chemical substances which are not chemically bonded. A mixture is the physical combination of two or more substances in which the identities are retai ...
that contain carbon, including
steel Steel is an alloy made up of iron with added carbon to improve its strength of materials, strength and fracture toughness, fracture resistance compared to other forms of iron. Many other elements may be present or added. Stainless steels that ...
(which contains
cementite Cementite (or iron carbide) is a Chemical compound, compound of iron and carbon, more precisely an intermediate transition metal carbide with the formula Fe3C. By weight, it is 6.67% carbon and 93.3% iron. It has an orthorhombic crystal structure. ...
, Fe3C), as well as other metal and semimetal carbides (including "ionic" carbides, e.g, Al4C3 and CaC2 and "covalent" carbides, e.g. B4C and SiC, and graphite intercalation compounds, e.g. KC8). Other compounds and materials that are considered 'inorganic' by most authorities include: metal carbonates, simple
oxides An oxide () is a chemical compound that contains at least one oxygen atom and one other chemical element, element in its chemical formula. "Oxide" itself is the dianion of oxygen, an O2– (molecular) ion. with oxygen in the oxidation state of ...
(CO, CO2, and arguably, C3O2), the
allotropes Allotropy or allotropism () is the property of some chemical element A chemical element is a species of atoms that have a given number of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei, including the pure Chemical substance, substance consistin ...
of carbon,
cyanide Cyanide is a naturally occurring, rapidly acting, toxic chemical that can exist in many different forms. In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers th ...
derivatives not containing an organic residue (e.g., KCN, (CN)2, BrCN, CNO, etc.), and heavier analogs thereof (e.g., CP '
cyaphide Cyaphide, P≡C−, is the phosphorus analogue of cyanide. It is not known as a discrete salt, however ''In silico'' measurements reveal that the −1 charge in this ion is located mainly on carbon (0.65), as opposed to phosphorus. Preparation Org ...
anion', CSe2, COS; although CS2 '
carbon disulfide Carbon disulfide (also spelled as carbon disulphide) is a neurotoxic, colorless, volatility (chemistry), volatile liquid with the chemical formula, formula and Chemical structure, structure . The Chemical compound, compound is used frequently as ...
' is often classed as an ''organic'' solvent). Halides of carbon without hydrogen (e.g., CF4 and CClF3),
phosgene Phosgene is the organic chemical compound with the chemical formula, formula COCl2. It is a toxic, colorless gas; in low concentrations, its musty odor resembles that of freshly cut hay or grass. Phosgene is a valued and important industrial bu ...
(COCl2),
carborane Carboranes are electron-delocalized (non-classically bonded) clusters composed of boron, carbon and hydrogen atoms.Grimes, R. N., ''Carboranes 3rd Ed.'', Elsevier, Amsterdam and New York (2016), . Like many of the related boron hydrides, these cl ...
s,
metal carbonyl Metal carbonyls are coordination complexes of transition metals with carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide (chemical formula CO) is a colorless, poisonous, odorless, tasteless, flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air. Carbon monoxide c ...
s (e.g., nickel carbonyl), mellitic anhydride (C12O9), and other exotic
oxocarbon In chemistry, an oxocarbon or oxide of carbon is a chemical compound consisting only of carbon and oxygen. The simplest and most common oxocarbons are carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (). Many other stable (practically if not thermodynamica ...
s are also considered inorganic by some authorities. Nickel carbonyl (Ni(CO)4) and other metal carbonyls are often volatile liquids, like many organic compounds, yet they contain only carbon bonded to a transition metal and to oxygen, and are often prepared directly from metal and
carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide (chemical formula CO) is a colorless, poisonous, odorless, tasteless, flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air. Carbon monoxide consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom connected by a triple bond. It is the simple ...
. Nickel carbonyl is typically classified as an ''
organometallic compound Organometallic chemistry is the study of organometallic compounds, chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) containing atoms from more than ...
'' as it satisfies the broad definition that
organometallic chemistry Organometallic chemistry is the study of organometallic compounds, chemical compounds containing at least one chemical bond between a carbon atom of an organic molecule and a metal, including alkali, alkaline earth, and transition metals, and so ...
covers all compounds that contain at least one carbon to metal covalent bond; it is debatable whether organometallic compounds form a subset of organic compounds, however. For example, the evidence of covalent Fe-C bonding in
cementite Cementite (or iron carbide) is a Chemical compound, compound of iron and carbon, more precisely an intermediate transition metal carbide with the formula Fe3C. By weight, it is 6.67% carbon and 93.3% iron. It has an orthorhombic crystal structure. ...
, a major component of steel, places it within this broad definition of organometallic, yet steel and other carbon-containing alloys are seldom regarded as organic compounds. Thus, it is unclear whether the definition of organometallic should be narrowed, whether these considerations imply that organometallic compounds are not necessarily organic, or both. Metal complexes with organic ligands but no carbon-metal bonds (e.g., Cu(OAc)2) are not considered organometallic; instead, they are classed as ''metalorganic''. Likewise, it is also unclear whether metalorganic compounds should automatically be considered organic. The relatively narrow definition of organic compounds as those containing C-H bonds excludes compounds that are (historically and practically) considered organic. Neither urea nor oxalic acid are organic by this definition, yet they were two key compounds in the vitalism debate. The IUPAC Blue Book on organic nomenclature specifically mentions urea and oxalic acid. Other compounds lacking C-H bonds but traditionally considered organic include benzenehexol, mesoxalic acid, and
carbon tetrachloride Carbon tetrachloride, also known by many other names (such as tetrachloromethane, also IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic chemistry, recognised by the IUPAC, carbon tet in the cleaning industry, Halon-104 in firefighting, and Refrigerant-10 in HVAC ...
. Mellitic acid, which contains no C-H bonds, is considered a possible organic substance in
Martian Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, has appeared as a Setting (narrative), setting in works of fiction since at least the mid-1600s. It became the most popular celestial object in fiction in the late 1800s as the Moon was evidently lifeless. ...
soil. Terrestrially, it, and its anhydride, mellitic anhydride, are associated with the mineral
mellite Mellite, also called honeystone, is an unusual mineral being also an organic chemical. It is chemically identified as an aluminium salt of mellitic acid, and specifically as aluminium benzene hexacarboxylate hydrate, with the chemical formula Al2 ...
(Al2C6(COO)6·16H2O). A slightly broader definition of the organic compound includes all compounds bearing C-H or C-C bonds. This would still exclude urea. Moreover, this definition still leads to somewhat arbitrary divisions in sets of carbon-halogen compounds. For example, CF4 and CCl4 would be considered by this rule to be "inorganic", whereas CF3H, CHCl3, and C2Cl6 would be organic, though these compounds share many physical and chemical properties.


Classification

Organic compounds may be classified in a variety of ways. One major distinction is between natural and synthetic compounds. Organic compounds can also be classified or subdivided by the presence of heteroatoms, e.g.,
organometallic compound Organometallic chemistry is the study of organometallic compounds, chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) containing atoms from more than ...
s, which feature bonds between carbon and a
metal A metal (from ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts electrical resistivity and conductivity, e ...
, and
organophosphorus compound Organophosphorus compounds are organic compound In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen or carbon-carbon chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's ability to Catenation, catenate (form chai ...
s, which feature bonds between carbon and a
phosphorus Phosphorus is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol P and atomic number 15. Elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms, white phosphorus and red phosphorus, but because it is highly Reactivity (chemistry), reactive, phosphor ...
. Another distinction, based on the size of organic compounds, distinguishes between
small molecule Within the fields of molecular biology and pharmacology, a small molecule or micromolecule is a low molecular weight (≤ 1000 Atomic mass unit, daltons) organic compound that may regulate a biological process, with a size on the order of 1 nm ...
s and
polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, substance or material consisting of very large molecules called macromolecules, composed of many Repeat unit, repeating subunits. Due to t ...
s.


Natural compounds

Natural compound A natural product is a natural Chemical compound, compound or chemical substance, substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature. In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life. Natural product ...
s refer to those that are produced by plants or animals. Many of these are still extracted from natural sources because they would be more expensive to produce artificially. Examples include most
sugar Sugar is the generic name for Sweetness, sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. Simple sugars, also called monosaccharides, include glucose, fructose, and galactose. Compound sugars, also called disaccharides o ...
s, some
alkaloid Alkaloids are a class of base (chemistry), basic, natural product, naturally occurring organic compounds that contain at least one nitrogen atom. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Som ...
s and
terpenoid The terpenoids, also known as isoprenoids, are a class of naturally occurring organic compound, organic chemicals derived from the 5-carbon compound isoprene and its derivatives called terpenes, diterpenes, etc. While sometimes used interchangeabl ...
s, certain nutrients such as vitamin B12, and, in general, those natural products with large or stereoisometrically complicated molecules present in reasonable concentrations in living organisms. Further compounds of prime importance in
biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided into three fields: structural biology, enzymology a ...
are
antigen In immunology, an antigen (Ag) is a molecule A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by attractive forces known as chemical bonds; depending on context, the term may or may not include ions which satisfy this criterion. ...
s,
carbohydrate In organic chemistry, a carbohydrate () is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, usually with a hydrogen–oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 (as in water) and thus with the empirical formula (where ''m'' may or may ...
s,
enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts by accelerating chemical reactions. The molecules upon which enzymes may act are called substrate (chemistry), substrates, and the enzyme converts the substrates into different molecule ...
s,
hormone A hormone (from the Ancient Greek, Greek participle , "setting in motion") is a class of cell signaling, signaling molecules in multicellular organisms that are sent to distant organs by complex biological processes to regulate physiology and beh ...
s,
lipid Lipids are a broad group of naturally-occurring molecules which includes fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins Vitamin A, A, Vitamin D, D, Vitamin E, E and Vitamin K, K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, phospholipids, and o ...
s and
fatty acid In chemistry, particularly in biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid with an aliphatic chain, which is either saturated and unsaturated compounds#Organic chemistry, saturated or unsaturated. Most naturally occurring fatty acids have an B ...
s,
neurotransmitter A neurotransmitter is a signaling molecule secreted by a neuron to affect another cell across a Chemical synapse, synapse. The cell receiving the signal, any main body part or target cell, may be another neuron, but could also be a gland or mus ...
s,
nucleic acid Nucleic acids are biopolymers, macromolecules, essential to all Organism, known forms of life. They are composed of nucleotides, which are the monomers made of three components: a pentose, 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base. ...
s,
protein Proteins are large biomolecules and macromolecules that comprise one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including Enzyme catalysis, catalysing metabo ...
s,
peptide Peptides (, ) are short chains of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. Long chains of amino acids are called proteins. Chains of fewer than twenty amino acids are called oligopeptides, and include dipeptides, tripeptides, and tetrapeptide ...
s and
amino acid Amino acids are organic compound In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen or carbon-carbon chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's ability to Catenation, catenate (form chains with ot ...
s,
lectin Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are highly specific for sugar Moiety (chemistry), groups that are part of other molecules, so cause agglutination (biology), agglutination of particular cells or precipitation of glycoconjugates an ...
s,
vitamin A vitamin is an organic molecule (or a set of molecules closely related chemically, i.e. vitamers) that is an Nutrient#Essential nutrients, essential micronutrient that an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its ...
s, and fats and oils.


Synthetic compounds

Compounds that are prepared by reaction of other compounds are known as " synthetic". They may be either compounds that are already found in plants/animals or those artificial compounds that do not occur naturally. Most
polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, substance or material consisting of very large molecules called macromolecules, composed of many Repeat unit, repeating subunits. Due to t ...
s (a category that includes all
plastic Plastics are a wide range of synthetic polymers, synthetic or semi-synthetic materials that use polymers as a main ingredient. Their Plasticity (physics), plasticity makes it possible for plastics to be Injection moulding, moulded, Extrusion, e ...
s and
rubber Rubber, also called India rubber, latex, Amazonian rubber, ''caucho'', or ''caoutchouc'', as initially produced, consists of polymers of the organic compound isoprene, with minor impurities of other organic compounds. Thailand, Malaysia, and ...
s) are organic synthetic or semi-synthetic compounds.


Biotechnology

Many organic compounds—two examples are
ethanol Ethanol (abbr. EtOH; also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic compound. It is an Alcohol (chemistry), alcohol with the chemical formula . Its formula can be also written as or (an ethyl ...
and
insulin Insulin (, from Latin ''insula'', 'island') is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets encoded in humans by the ''INS'' gene. It is considered to be the main Anabolism, anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the m ...
—are manufactured industrially using organisms such as bacteria and yeast. Typically, the DNA of an organism is altered to express compounds not ordinarily produced by the organism. Many such
biotechnology Biotechnology is the integration of Natural science, natural sciences and Engineering Science, engineering sciences in order to achieve the application of organisms, cells, parts thereof and molecular analogues for products and services. The te ...
-engineered compounds did not previously exist in nature.


Databases

* The '' CAS'' database is the most comprehensive repository for data on organic compounds. The search tool '' SciFinder'' is offered. * The '' Beilstein database'' contains information on 9.8 million substances, covers the scientific literature from 1771 to the present, and is today accessible via Reaxys. Structures and a large diversity of physical and chemical properties are available for each substance, with reference to original literature. * ''
PubChem PubChem is a database In computing, a database is an organized collection of Data (computing), data stored and accessed electronically. Small databases can be stored on a file system, while large databases are hosted on computer clusters or ...
'' contains 18.4 million entries on compounds and especially covers the field of
medicinal chemistry Medicinal or pharmaceutical chemistry is a scientific discipline at the intersection of chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make u ...
. A great number of more specialized databases exist for diverse branches of organic chemistry.


Structure determination

The main tools are
proton A proton is a stable subatomic particle, symbol , H+, or 1H+ with a positive electric charge of +1 ''e'' elementary charge. Its mass is slightly less than that of a neutron and 1,836 times the mass of an electron (the proton–electron mass ...
and
carbon-13 Carbon-13 (13C) is a natural, stable isotope of carbon with a Atomic nucleus, nucleus containing six protons and seven neutrons. As one of the environmental isotopes, it makes up about 1.1% of all natural carbon on Earth. Detection by mass spectr ...
NMR spectroscopy Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, most commonly known as NMR spectroscopy or magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), is a Spectroscopy, spectroscopic technique to observe local magnetic fields around Atomic nucleus, atomic nuclei. The sampl ...
,
IR Spectroscopy Infrared spectroscopy (IR spectroscopy or vibrational spectroscopy) is the measurement of the interaction of infrared radiation with matter by absorption spectroscopy, absorption, emission spectrum, emission, or reflection (physics), reflection. ...
,
Mass spectrometry Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that is used to measure the mass-to-charge ratio of ions. The results are presented as a ''mass spectrum'', a plot of intensity as a function of the mass-to-charge ratio. Mass spectrometry is us ...
, UV/Vis Spectroscopy and
X-ray crystallography X-ray crystallography is the experimental science determining the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal, in which the crystalline structure causes a beam of incident X-rays to Diffraction, diffract into many specific directions. By measurin ...
.Ernö Pretsch, Philippe Bühlmann, Martin Badertscher (2009), ''Structure Determination of Organic Compounds'' (Fourth, Revised and Enlarged Edition). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


See also

* * List of chemical compounds * List of organic compounds *


References


External links


Organic Compounds Database

Organic Materials Database
{{DEFAULTSORT:Organic Compound Organic chemistry