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Alkenes: Introduction

Alkenes: Introduction

Alkenes belong to the compound class of unsaturated hydrocarbons. Unlike alkanes in which C atoms are bound to four neighboring atoms, alkenes contain C atoms with only three neighboring atoms. In order to attain the valence of four, a C atom must share a double bond with a neighboring atom.

Alkane
Alkene

A hydrocarbon containing more than one double bond is called a diene, triene, polyene, etc.. Depending on how the double bonds are arranged relatively to each other, they are listed as either cumulated, conjugated or isolated.

Cumulated
Conjugated
Isolated

The simplest alkene is ethene which frequently is listed with its trivial name ethylene.

Mouse

Ethene is completely planar, i.e. all atoms are arranged on one level. The double bond is stronger and shorter (133 pm) than a single bond (153 pm). The bonding angles with ca. 120° (triangular) are larger than those in alkanes (~110°, tetrahedral).

Ethane
Ethene
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