Encyclopedia > Cycloalkane

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Cycloalkanes have a single ring of carbons to which hydrogens are attached according to the formula CnH2n. They are named analogously to their normal alkane counterpart of the same carbon count: cyclopropane[?], cyclobutane[?], cyclopentane[?], cyclohexane[?], etc.


The naming of polycyclic alkanes is more complex, with the base name indicating the number of carbons in the ring system, a prefix indicating the number of rings (eg, "bicyclo"), and a numeric prefix before that indicating the number of carbons in each part of each ring, exclusive of vertices. For instance, a bicyclooctane which consists of a six-member ring and a four member ring, which share two adjacent carbon atoms which form a shared edge, is [4.2.0]-bicyclooctane. That part of the six-member ring, exclusive of the shared edge has 4 carbons. That part of the four-member ring, exclusive of the shared edge, has 2 carbons. The edge itself, exclusive of the two vertices that define it, has 0 carbons.

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