Posts Tagged ‘Group of Eight’

The Bürgi–Dunitz angle revisited: a mystery?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

The Bürgi–Dunitz angle is one of those memes that most students of organic chemistry remember. It hypothesizes the geometry of attack of a nucleophile on a trigonal unsaturated (sp2) carbon in a molecule such as ketone, aldehyde, ester, and amide carbonyl. Its value obviously depends on the exact system, but is generally taken to be in the range 105-107°. A very good test of this approach is to search the crystal structure database (this was how it was originally established[1]).



  1. H. B:urgi, J. Dunitz, J. Lehn, and G. Wipff, "Stereochemistry of reaction paths at carbonyl centres", Tetrahedron, vol. 30, pp. 1563-1572, 1974.