Posts Tagged ‘stereoelectronic’

The mechanism of the Baeyer-Villiger rearrangement.

Monday, May 7th, 2012

The Baeyer-Villiger rearrangement was named after its discoverers, who in 1899 described the transformation of menthone into the corresponding lactone using Caro’s acid (peroxysulfuric acid). The mechanism is described in all text books of organic chemistry as involving an alkyl migration. Here I take a look at the scheme described by Alvarez-Idaboy, Reyes and Mora-Diez[1], and which may well not yet have made it to all the text books!



  1. J.R. Alvarez-Idaboy, L. Reyes, and N. Mora-Diez, "The mechanism of the Baeyer–Villiger rearrangement: quantum chemistry and TST study supported by experimental kinetic data", Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, vol. 5, pp. 3682, 2007.

Combichem: an introductory example of the complexity of chemistry

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Chemistry gets complex very rapidly. Consider the formula CH3NO as the topic for a tutorial in introductory chemistry. I challenge my group (of about 8 students) to draw as many different molecules as they can using exactly those atoms. I imply that perhaps each of them might find a different structure; this normally brings disbelieving expressions to their faces.