How Do You Name Bicyclic Compounds?


Quick Answer

To name bicyclic compounds based on the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) system of nomenclature, start with the term "bicyclo." Count the number of carbons between the structure's bridgeheads, and then write them in descending order, separated by commas and enclosed in brackets. Finally, count the total number of carbons in the molecule, and use it as a parent name.

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Full Answer

Naming bicyclic compounds using the IUPAC system starts with a given molecular structure. Before the nomenclature process, visual confirmation should be conducted to ascertain that the compound is bicyclic. All bicyclic compounds start with the prefix "bicyclo." The next step is to identify the bridgehead, if any, and to count the number of carbon atoms between these bridgeheads. Arrange the numbers in descending order, put commas between the numbers, and enclose them in brackets. For the last step, enumerate the carbon atoms in the entire molecule, and use the IUPAC nomenclature rules to identify the type of organic compound. For instance, if there are eight carbon atoms, then the parent name is "octane."

Bicyclic compounds are named as such because of their molecular structure, which is composed of two rings fused together. These compounds are composed mainly of organic molecules in dual ring orientations. The two-ring structure may be formed by either two monocylic or one-ringed molecules, a chain of atoms joined together by bridgeheads or a spirocyclic atom.

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