Chemistry is a fascinating subject where you will find infinite knowledge and brilliant facts to study. Some will amaze you and encourage you to learn more. One such concept of organic chemistry that baffles students the most is enantiomers. These are exceptional organic compounds with a unique characteristic to follow. Enantiomers are the same in chemical structure but differ in molecular orientation. A couple of organic substances, that are similar in every other aspect, are mirror images to each other. They cannot be superimposed but can be considered as laterally inverted images. Isn’t that wonderful?
Let us study more about this brilliant topic and get a little deeper. To make this part of organic chemistry easier to understand, the Chemistry experts at Vedantu have developed a concept page where you will find simplified enantiomers definition and examples to follow and understand. Read on to find the answer to your queries. You can use this concept page as a reference while studying this genre of organic compounds and clear your doubts.
There is no need to worry when Vedantu is here to clear the doubts. This type of organic substance is similar in terms of chemical and physical nature. Also, the number of atoms of the elements present in the chemical formula is the same. The only thing that varies is their orientation. They are chemically identical and have the same properties. It is just that the same molecule has been laterally inverted to form another molecule.
If all the physical and chemical properties are the same, how can we find out the difference between the two enantiomers? Now that is a valid question that can take anyone by surprise. To answer this question, you need to follow the concept page and study the enantiomers properly. While studying, you will find out that a pair of such substances can only be differentiated by projecting a polarized light on them. The light will be rotated in a particular direction. Based on that direction, one enantiomer is called Dextro (+ or d) and the other one rotating the polarized light in the other direction is called Levo (+ or l). The term ‘rotatory’ is added after Dextro or Levo to coin these optical isomers.
When both the enantiomers are present in the same concentration in a solution, it is called a racemic mixture. This mixture has no optical activity as both the compounds’ power to rotate polarized light are nullified by each other. If you study the enantiomers definition and examples properly on this page, you will understand the concept well.
Once you define enantiomers with examples, you will be able to understand the properties of these pairs of compounds too. Let us take a quick look into the properties of enantiomers.
They are physically and chemically identical compounds and exist in pairs.
They are either named dextrorotatory or levorotatory compounds based on the direction in which they bend a polarized light.
All the physical properties such as melting point, condensation point, boiling point, NMR spectra, and infrared absorptions are the same.
Even if the individual melting point of the compounds is similar, the melting point of their mixture might vary.
Only the chiroptical techniques can identify the difference between a pair of enantiomers. One such technique is the optical rotation of polarized lights.
These chiroptical properties depend on the bond angles, bond lengths, magnitude and sign of the torsional angles.
Over the years, Vedantu has chosen the best chemistry mentors to teach students the basic and advanced concepts easily. These mentors know very well where a student can face difficulty. The new concepts of organic chemistry can be quite tough to understand when there is no proper guidance. Hence, the concept pages can act as the best reference material for students to clarify their doubts and prepare the chapters perfectly.
In this section, you will find the simplest definition and examples of enantiomers so that you can correlate them with the textbook chapter and figure out how to answer the questions in the exercise. This concept page can also act as a brilliant revision material when you have to finish a huge syllabus before an exam. You can refer to it online anytime anywhere to make your study schedule more flexible. Give it a try and find out how easy it is to understand what enantiomers with examples are.
Q1. What are Enantiomers?
Enantiomers are two compounds that are physically and chemically identical. They have the same number of atoms of different elements in the chemical formula. The only difference is that these compounds are mirror images of each other.
Q2. How Can You Distinguish Between Two Enantiomers?
When all the chemical and physical properties of a pair of enantiomers are the same, using the chiroptical measures is the only way to distinguish between them. These molecules have different properties of rotating polarized light. They are also named according to their optical behaviour shown by rotating a polarized light.
Q3. Can Two Enantiomers be Superimposed?
Enantiomers cannot be superimposed as they are mirror images of each other. They cannot be overlapped.