Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

18.1: Carbonyl Compound Structure and Properties

  • Page ID
    183090
  • The Carbonyls:  the Aldehyes and Ketones

    While there are several functional groups that include a carbonyl structural feature, the term "carbonyls" is used to describe aldehydes and ketones.

    ch 19 sect 1 example.png

    Aldehydes and ketones share a great deal of chemical reactivity so it makes sense to talk about these two functional groups within the same chapter.  Aldehydes and ketones are both polar molecules that are H-bond acceptors.  Following the "4 to 6 Rule", aldehydes and ketones with short carbon chains are soluble in water.  Aldehydes and ketones are typically liquids with densities of approximately 0.8 g/mL.  Aldehydes and ketones are prevalent in common household substances as shown in the table below.

    ch 19 sect 1 example 2.png

    Aldehydes and Ketones are Electrophiles

    The carbon of the carbonyl group is electrophilic because of resonance as shown below.

    ch 19 sect 1 example 3.png