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Structural Isomers of Alkenes

Key Concepts

Structural isomers are molecules with:
  • same molecular formula

  • different structural formulae

Structural isomers of alkenes have:

  • same number of atoms of carbon and hydrogen

  • different arrangement of carbon and hydrogen atoms

Animated Tutorial

Examples

But-1-ene (1-butene) has the molecular formula C4H8.
All possible structural isomers of but-1-ene must have the molecular formula C4H8.
name structural formula molecular formula
but-1-ene
(1-butene)
  H
|
      H
|
  H
|
 
  C = C - C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
 
C4H8

but-2-ene
(2-butene)
  H
|
          H
|
 
H- C - C = C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
  |
H
 
C4H8

2-methylprop-1-ene
(2-methylpropene)
  H
|
      H
|
 
  C = C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H-C-H
  |
H
 
      |
H
     
C4H8

cyclobutane
  H
|
  H
|
 
H- C - C -H
  |   |  
H- C - C -H
  |
H
  |
H
 
C4H8


But-1-ene, but-2-ene, 2-methylprop-1-ene and cyclobutane are structural isomers.
They have the same molecular formula, C4H8, but different structural formulae.


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