Carbonyl Compounds

Carbonyl Compounds are the organic compounds containing carbon-oxygen double bond (>C=0).  >C=O  is the most important functional group of organic chemistry.

Carbonyl compounds in which  carbonyl group is bonded to a carbon and hydrogen are  known as aldehydes.

Carbonyl compounds in which  carbonyl group is bonded to carbon atoms are  known as ketons.

The carbonyl compounds in which carbonyl group is bonded to oxygen are known as carboxylic acids, and their derivatives (e.g. esters,


Carbonyl compounds where carbon is attached to nitrogen are called amides.

Carbonyl compounds where carbon is attached to haligen  are called  acyl halides.

In short, carbonyl compounds can be divided into two major groups

  • Structure of Carbonyl Group

Carbonyl carbon is joined to three other atoms by s bonds; since these bonds utilize sp2 orbitals, they lie in a plane, and are 120° apart. The remaining p-orbitals of carbon overlaps a p-orbital of oxygen to form a p bond; carbon and oxygen are thus joined by a double bond. The part of the molecule immediately surrounding carbonyl carbon lie in a plane.

The electrons of a carbonyl double bond hold together atoms of quite different electronegativity and hence the electrons are not equally shared; in particular the polar p-cloud is pulled strongly towards the more electronegative atom, oxygen.

The carbonyl group, C = O, governs the chemistry of aldehydes and ketones. It does this in two ways:

a) By providing a site for nucleophilic addition, and


b)By increasing the acidity of hydrogen atoms attached to the alpha carbon.

You can also refer to  Organic Chemistry Revision Notes and IIT JEE Chemistry Syllabus

To read more, Buy study materials of Aldehydes, Ketones & Carboxylic Acids comprising study notes, revision notes, video lectures, previous year solved questions etc. Also browse for more study materials on Chemistry here.


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