Newly engineered enzyme speeds up slow organic reaction

Versatile catalysts with new features and functions could revolutionize scientists' synthetic strategies, paving the way for high-value chemicals and a greener chemical industry. In search of such catalysts, scientists have ...

A Möbius strip constructed solely of carbon atoms

Obtaining structurally uniform nanocarbons in order to properly relate structure and function, ideally as single molecules, is a great challenge in the field of nanocarbon science. Thus, the construction of structurally uniform ...

Optical cavities could provide new technological possibilities

A research team from NTNU is studying a topic called optical cavities and how the light trapped in them interacts with atoms, molecules and other particles. The technology could prove valuable for the development of energy-efficient ...

A highly sensitive SERS substrate for gas sensing

Trace gas sensing is critical for monitoring environmental pollution and detecting volatile organic compounds released from the human body. As a powerful analytical tool for identifying trace molecules, surface-enhanced Raman ...

Webb telescope's cool view on how stars, planets form

The ongoing success of the multi-instrument optics alignment for NASA's Webb telescope's near-infrared instruments has moved the attention of the commissioning team to chill as we carefully monitor the cooling of the Mid-InfraRed ...

Chemists discover new reactivity of strained molecules

In synthetic organic chemistry, so-called cycloadditions are a particularly important class of reactions. With this type of reaction, ring-shaped molecules can be constructed simply and efficiently by joining ("adding") two ...

Exotic magnetic states in miniature dimensions

We are all used to the idea that simpler units in nature interact to form complex structures. Take, for example, the hierarchy of life, where atoms combine to form molecules, molecules combine to form cells, cells combine ...

Nobel in chemistry honors 'greener' way to build molecules

Two scientists won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for finding an ingenious and environmentally cleaner way to build molecules—an approach now used to make a variety of compounds, including medicines and pesticides.

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Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is a discipline within chemistry which involves the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (by synthesis or by other means) of chemical compounds that contain carbon. These compounds may contain any number of other elements, including hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, the halogens as well as phosphorus, silicon and sulfur.

The original definition of "organic" chemistry came from the misconception that organic compounds were always related to life processes. However, organic molecules can be produced by processes not involving life. Life as we know it also depends on inorganic chemistry. For example, many enzymes rely on transition metals such as iron and copper; and materials such as shells, teeth and bones are part organic, part inorganic in composition. Apart from elemental carbon, only certain classes of carbon compounds (such as oxides, carbonates, and carbides) are conventionally considered inorganic. Biochemistry deals mainly with the natural chemistry of biomolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, and sugars.

Because of their unique properties, multi-carbon compounds exhibit extremely large variety and the range of application of organic compounds is enormous. They form the basis of, or are important constituents of many products (paints, plastics, food, explosives, drugs, petrochemicals, to name but a few) and (apart from a very few exceptions) they form the basis of all earthly life processes.

The different shapes and chemical reactivities of organic molecules provide an astonishing variety of functions, like those of enzyme catalysts in biochemical reactions of live systems.

Current (as of 2008) trends in organic chemistry include chiral synthesis, green chemistry, microwave chemistry, fullerenes and microwave spectroscopy.

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