Structure of the carboxyl acid group
Carboxylic acids are organic compounds which incorporate a carboxyl functional group, CO2H. The name carboxyl comes from the fact that a carbonyl and a hydroxyl group are attached to the same carbon.
The carbon and oxygen in the carbonyl are both sp2 hybridized which give a carbonyl group a basic trigonal shape. The hydroxyl oxygen is also sp2 hybridized which allows one of its lone pair electrons to conjugate with the pi system of the carbonyl group. This make the carboxyl group planar an can represented with the following resonance structure.
Carboxylic acids are named such because they can donate a hydrogen to produce a carboxylate ion. The factors which affect the acidity of carboxylic acids will be discussed later.