Functional Groups for Organic Chemistry

Functional Groups for Organic Chemistry

The subject chemistry is divided into three main branches, namely:- Organic, Inorganic, and Physical. Under the organic chemistry, you can find the main term on which it has its basis – functional groups. To understand this branch well, you must be well-versed with these functional groups for organic chemistry on which all other topics rely. To get started with the study of these functional groups lets first understand what the term defines. 


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What are Functional Groups?

Functional groups are a specific group of atoms/bonds, responsible for the characteristic chemical reactions of a compound. The functional groups for the organic compounds functionalize them and provide them unique physical and chemical properties. The similarity of all the functional groups is that they all undergo the same chemical reactions. Whereas, the distinctive property of these functional groups is that each group has its unique set of properties, which distinguishes one compound with the other. 


Role of Functional Groups

The main roles of functional groups for organic chemistry include:-


  • The presence of functional groups in a molecule alters its solubility and tendency to form complexes.
  • In coordination complexes, the functional groups bound to the central atom, play the role of a ligand.
  • The attachment of functional groups to the molecules results in its conversion to polyatomic ions.


Types of Functional Groups With Main Features

Here are the main functional groups with their unique lewis dot structures. Below are the main feature to it, if you want to learn the basics of structure drawing, follow our blog:-


How to Draw a Lewis Dot Structure


  • Identified by – OH group
  • Polar in nature
  • Bent-shape
  • Used in beverages, antiseptics, and fuels
  • There are three main types of alcohol such as isopropyl, methyl, and ethyl


  • Identified by an oxygen atom connected to two alkyl or aryl groups
  • Slightly polar
  • Formula:- R-O-R’, Bond Angles:- 104.5
  • The use of Dimethyl ether is common as a refrigerant and Diethyl ether as a solvent for oils, gums, etc.


Aldehydes and Ketones



  • Identified by the structure RC(=O)R.’
  • The use of acetone, a ketone, is used in nail polish remover.


  • Identified by (R-CHO).
  • The use of Formaldehyde, an aldehyde is in killing pests and tanning animal hides.


Carboxylic Acids

  • The general formula is -C(=O)OH or -COOH
  • Acetic acid, a carboxylic acid, is used in the production of cellulose plastics and esters.



  • The general formula is RCOOR’ or RCO2R’
  • Esters are used as solvents for lacquers, paints, and varnishes



  • The structure is R-CO-NR’R.”
  • Amines are used in personal care products.


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