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Chemistry LibreTexts

1.8: Ethers

  • Page ID
    222812
  • Learning Objective

    • How to name ethers.

    In organic chemistry, any alkyl group can be abbreviated as R. An ether, in which the carbons of two alkyl groups are linked to the same oxygen, can be abbreviated as R-O-R.

    This molecule is often referred to simply as “ether”. Its common name is diethyl ether, and its IUPAC name is ethoxyethane.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\).svg
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): ethoxyethane

    The common name of this molecule is ethyl methyl ether, and its IUPAC name is methoxyethane.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\).svg
    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): methoxyethane

    Practice Questions

    1. What are the common and IUPAC names of Molecule A?

    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\).svg
    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): Molecule A

    2. The name of this molecule is 2-methoxy-3-methylbutane. Number the carbons.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\).svg
    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\): 2-methoxy-3-methylbutane

    3. Number the carbons. What is the name of Molecule B?

    Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\).svg
    Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\): Molecule B

    4. The name of this molecule is 4-butoxy-2-butanol. Number the carbons.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{6}\).svg
    Figure \(\PageIndex{6}\): 4-butoxy-2-butanol

    5. Number the carbons. What is the name of Molecule C?

    Figure \(\PageIndex{7}\).svg
    Figure \(\PageIndex{7}\): Molecule C

    6. What additions do we make to our existing naming rules to name ethers?

    7. Write the steps that you use to name an ether in order, as instructions for a student who doesn't know how to do it.

    8. Draw any ether and go through the steps in naming your molecule.

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