Name of a branched-chain alkane is made up of two parts:
Name the longest alkane carbon chain (stem) first.
Identify the branches (side chains).
Name each branch (side chain).
Number of carbon atoms in branch (side chain)
H-C-H | H
H-C-H | H-C-H | H
H-C-H | H-C-H | H-C-H | H
Number the carbon atoms making up the stem so that the branches have the lowest possible numbers.
Separate the number of the stem carbon atom from the name of the branch by a hyphen (-).
If two or more identical branches are present:
(i) Use the prefixes di, tri, tetra, etc before the branch name.
number of identical branches
(ii) Indicate the location of the stem carbon atoms to which each branch is attached by writing the numbers separated by a comma (,) in ascending order.
(iii) Separate the final number from the prefix of the branch name by a hyphen (-).
If two or more different branches (side chains) are present:
(i) Identify and name each branch (side chain).
(ii) Indicate the location of the stem carbon atoms to which each branch is attached by writing the number then a hyphen and then the name of the branch.
(ii) Write the names of the branches in alphabetical order (ignoring any di, tri, tetra, etc prefix) separating numbers from letters by a hyphen.
Branch name(s) added as a prefix to the name of the stem.
Drawing the structure1 of branched-chain alkanes:
Divide the name into the name of the branches and the name of the stem.
Draw the straight chain alkane stem.
Number the carbon atoms making up the stem's chain.
Break the rest of the name up into individual branch names.
Determine the number of identical branches (if any).
Determine the location of the carbon atom on the stem to which each branch (side chain) is attached.
Note the locations of the branches on the numbered stem chain you have already drawn.
Draw the required number of carbon atoms for each branch at the specified location along the stem's carbon chain.
Complete the structure by adding a hydrogen atom at the end of any vacant covalent bond.