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Hydrocarbon molecules with one or more triple bonds are called alkynes ; they make up another series of unsaturated hydrocarbons. Two carbon atoms joined by a triple bond are bound together by one σ bond and two π bonds. The sp -hybridized carbons involved in the triple bond have bond angles of 180°, giving these types of bonds a linear, rod-like shape.

The simplest member of the alkyne series is ethyne, C 2 H 2 , commonly called acetylene. The Lewis structure for ethyne, a linear molecule, is:

The structural formula and name for ethyne, also known as acetylene, are shown. In red, two C atoms are shown with a triple bond illustrated by three horizontal line segments between them. Shown in black at each end of the structure, a single H atom is bonded.

The IUPAC nomenclature for alkynes is similar to that for alkenes except that the suffix -yne is used to indicate a triple bond in the chain. For example, CH 3 CH 2 C CH is called 1-butyne.

Structure of alkynes

Describe the geometry and hybridization of the carbon atoms in the following molecule:

A structural formula is shown with C H subscript 3 bonded to a C atom which is triple bonded to another C atom which is bonded to C H subscript 3. Each C atom is labeled 1, 2, 3, and 4 from left to right.


Carbon atoms 1 and 4 have four single bonds and are thus tetrahedral with sp 3 hybridization. Carbon atoms 2 and 3 are involved in the triple bond, so they have linear geometries and would be classified as sp hybrids.

Check your learning

Identify the hybridization and bond angles at the carbon atoms in the molecule shown:

A structural formula is shown with an H atom bonded to a C atom. The C atom has a triple bond with another C atom which is also bonded to C H. The C H has a double bond with another C H which is also bonded up and to the right to C H subscript 3. Each C atom is labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 from left to right.


carbon 1: sp , 180°; carbon 2: sp , 180°; carbon 3: sp 2 , 120°; carbon 4: sp 2 , 120°; carbon 5: sp 3 , 109.5°

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Chemically, the alkynes are similar to the alkenes. Since the C C functional group has two π bonds, alkynes typically react even more readily, and react with twice as much reagent in addition reactions. The reaction of acetylene with bromine is a typical example:

This diagram illustrates the reaction of ethyne and two molecules of B r subscript 2 to form 1 comma 1 comma 2 comma 2 dash tetrabromoethane. In this reaction, the structural formula of ethyne, an H atom bonded to a red C atom with a red triple bond to another red C atom bonded to a black H atom, plus B r bonded to B r plus B r bonded to B r is shown to the left of an arrow. On the right, the form 1 comma 1 comma 2 comma 2 dash tetrabromoethane molecule is shown. It has an H atom bonded to a C atom which is bonded to another C atom which is bonded to an H atom. Each C atom is bonded above and below to a B r atom. Each B r atom has three pairs of electron dots. The C and B r atoms, single bond between them, and electron pairs are shown in red.

Acetylene and the other alkynes also burn readily. An acetylene torch takes advantage of the high heat of combustion for acetylene.

Aromatic hydrocarbons

Benzene, C 6 H 6 , is the simplest member of a large family of hydrocarbons, called aromatic hydrocarbons . These compounds contain ring structures and exhibit bonding that must be described using the resonance hybrid concept of valence bond theory or the delocalization concept of molecular orbital theory. (To review these concepts, refer to the earlier chapters on chemical bonding). The resonance structures for benzene, C 6 H 6 , are:

This structural formula shows a six carbon hydrocarbon ring. On the left side there are six C atoms. The C atom on top and to the left forms a single bond to the C atom on the top and to the right. The C atom has a double bond to another C atom which has a single bond to a C atom. That C atom has a double bond to another C atom which has a single bond to a C atom. That C atom forms a double bond with another C atom. Each C atom has a single bond to an H atom. There is a double sided arrow and the structure on the right is almost identical to the structure on the left. The structure on the right shows double bonds where the structure on the left showed single bonds. The structure on the right shows single bonds where the stucture on the left showed double bonds.

Valence bond theory describes the benzene molecule and other planar aromatic hydrocarbon molecules as hexagonal rings of sp 2 -hybridized carbon atoms with the unhybridized p orbital of each carbon atom perpendicular to the plane of the ring. Three valence electrons in the sp 2 hybrid orbitals of each carbon atom and the valence electron of each hydrogen atom form the framework of σ bonds in the benzene molecule. The fourth valence electron of each carbon atom is shared with an adjacent carbon atom in their unhybridized p orbitals to yield the π bonds. Benzene does not, however, exhibit the characteristics typical of an alkene. Each of the six bonds between its carbon atoms is equivalent and exhibits properties that are intermediate between those of a C–C single bond and a C = C double bond. To represent this unique bonding, structural formulas for benzene and its derivatives are typically drawn with single bonds between the carbon atoms and a circle within the ring as shown in [link] .

Questions & Answers

mention some examples of ester
Chinenye Reply
what do converging lines on a mass Spectra represent
Rozzi Reply
would I do to help me know this topic ?
what the physic?
Bassidi Reply
who is albert heistein?
similarities between elements in the same group and period
legend Reply
what is the ratio of hydrogen to oxulygen in carbohydrates
Nadeen Reply
what is poh and ph
Amarachi Reply
please what is the chemical configuration of sodium
2, 6, 2, 1
1s2, 2s2, 2px2, 2py2, 2pz2, 3s1
what is criteria purity
Austin Reply
cathode is a negative ion why is it that u said is negative
Michael Reply
cathode is a negative electrode while cation is a positive ion. cation move towards cathode plate.
CH3COOH +NaOH ,complete the equation
david Reply
compare and contrast the electrical conductivity of HCl and CH3cooH
Sa Reply
The must be in dissolved in water (aqueous). Electrical conductivity is measured in Siemens (s). HCl (aq) has higher conductivity, as it fully ionises (small portion of CH3COOH (aq) ionises) when dissolved in water. Thus, more free ions to carry charge.
HCl being an strong acid will fully ionize in water thus producing more mobile ions for electrical conduction than the carboxylic acid
differiante between a weak and a strong acid
how can I tell when an acid is weak or Strong
an aqueous solution of copper sulphate was electrolysed between graphite electrodes. state what was observed at the cathode
Bakanya Reply
write the equation for the reaction that took place at the anode
what is enthalpy of combustion
Enthalpy change of combustion: It is the enthalpy change when 1 mole of substance is combusted with excess oxygen under standard conditions. Elements are in their standard states. Conditions: pressure = 1 atm Temperature =25°C
Observation at Cathode: Cu metal deposit (pink/red solid).
Equation at Anode: (SO4)^2- + 4H^+ + 2e^- __> SO2 + 2H2O
Equation : CuSO4 -> Cu^2+ + SO4^2- equation at katode: 2Cu^2+ + 4e -> 2Cu equation at anode: 2H2O -> 4H+ + O2 +4e at the anode which reacts is water because SO4 ^ 2- cannot be electrolyzed in the anode
what is the electrolysis of sulphuric acid
Bakanya Reply
why is electrolysis difficult using solid lead chloride
what is heat formation
Biefon Reply
what are atoms
Happy Reply
what's covalent bonding
Basil Reply
Covalent bonds are characterized by the sharing of electrons between two or more atoms. These bonds mostly occur between nonmetals or between two of the same (or similar) elements.
covalent bonding is the mutual sharing of electrons between two element in a molecule, usually it involves non metals as they are less ionic and more electronegative than metals( ionic). and these bonds have high enthalpy of formation. and are strong bonds than most of the bond.
covalent bonding involves both nonmetals where there is complete sharing of electrons on the outermost energy level

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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