I will be very honest with all of you. I didn’t start my journey of organic reaction mechanisms with the standard method. Usually, kids start of mechanisms with Hydrocarbons (addition/free radical substitution, etc). I started my journey of Reaction Mechanisms with Nucleophilic Substitution reactions. The chapter was Alkyl Halides and there were a number of concepts to be learned – Sn1, Sn2 and Sni reactions, along with the use of Neighbouring Group Participation (NGP). These are definitely the OST important concepts of this chapter and enough attention must be given on them.
Tips for the Chapters :
- The first thing to keep in mind is the characteristics of each of the reaction mechanisms – Sn1, Sn2 and Sni. The important characteristics are – stereochemistry of the reaction, direction of attack, orientation of the leaving group with the attacking group, effect of bulky substituents, effect of polarity of solvent and effect of neighbouring groups.
- Second most important thing is Carbocation Rearrangements and Ring Expansion/Contraction.
- Also, I would strongly advise you to prepare a table listing the properties and differences of SN1 and SN2 reactions side by side. Memorise this table well as it would aid you in solving questions based on mechanisms easily. Just a few concepts are enough to master this chapter. Provided you practice a lot.
- The Important Named Reactions of this Chapter are – Darren Reaction, Finkelstein Reaction, and Walden Inversion.
Books that are essential for this chapter are the same as the ones I have recommended for Organic at all other places –
- LG Wade
- M S Chouhan : Advanced Problems in Organic Chemistry for JEE.
- Peter Sykes : Guidebook to Mechanisms in Organic Chemistry
Practice a lot from these books to master the concepts of this chapter. All the best !