chapter  2
32 Pages

Chirality

WithPiotr Kus, Aleksander Sochanik

Stereochemistry is one of the most important branches of chemistry. It investigates spatial makeup of chemical compounds, mainly organic, as well as of complexes and coordination compounds forming the borderland between organic and inorganic chemistry. Chirality is one of the greatest mysteries of nature. Process of crystallization of achiral organic compounds can also generate chirality. Compounds that crystallize in chiral form belong to various classes of organic compounds, including substituted benzene derivatives, polyaryl and polycyclic derivatives, and heterocyclic compounds. Pharmacological interference with metabolism of living creatures must take into account stereochemistry of administered medicines. The measurement of optical rotation of organic compounds is among the most frequently used methods for determining their optical activity. Besides chiral optical methods used to differentiate between optical isomers, spectroscopic methods are also an important tool in studying chiral compounds. Chiral shift reagents belong to the group of compounds capable of forming additional complexes with numerous organic compounds.