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Chiral Center

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  • Chiral Center, chiral atom, chirality center, or center of chirality is a tetrahedral atom in a molecule bearing four different ligands, with lone pairs, if any, treated as ligands.

    eg. 1:

    eg. 2:

    eg. 3:

    If a chiral center is a carbon atom, it can also be called an asymmetric carbon atom. Thus, in eg. 1 the chiral center is an asymmetric carbon atom.

    The term stereocenter, also called stereogenic center, is often used synonymously with the term chiral center. However, the term stereocenter has a different definition, according to which all chiral centers are stereocenters but not all streocenters are chiral centers.

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