Many of the most important organic chemistry reactions are named after the chemists that discovered them. Access history, reaction mechanisms, applications of the reactions, relevant product links, and quiz questions in the eBook, which is updated regularly.
Named reactions in organic synthesis
Today, named chemical reactions play a crucial role in organic chemistry, which continues to grow in its ability to construct ever more complex and diverse chemical molecules.
The first named reaction in organic synthesis, the Lieben Haloform Reaction, had its origin in 1822 when Serullas found that iodine crystals dissolved in a mixture of alkali and ethanol yielded a yellow precipitate which he called "hydroiodide of carbon", known today as iodoform (CHI3).
To this day, many new chemical reactions are being reported and named after their discoverers in recognition of their valuable contribution to synthetic organic chemistry.
Watch our videos on key named reactions
Visit our reaction category pages for details on the history, applications, and mechanisms of key named reactions.
- Electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions
- Friedel-Crafts acylation and akylation, Fries rearrangement, Gattermann and Gattermann-Koch formylation, and Houben-Hoesch synthesis
- Nucleophilic substitution reactions
- Heterocycle formation
- Transition metal-catalyzed couplings
- Oxidation reactions
- Reactions involving carbonyl compounds
- Reduction reactions
- Clemmensen reduction, Luche reduction, Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley reduction, Staudinger reaction, and Wolff-Kishner reduction
- Rearrangement reactions
- Beckmann rearrangement, Curtius rearrangement, Claisen rearrangement, Ferrier reaction, and Hofmann rearrangement
- Electrophilic addition reactions
- Noyori asymmetric hydrogenation, Prilezhaev reaction, Schwartz hydrozirconation, Shi asymmetric epoxidation, and Simmons-Smith cyclopropanation
- Free Radical Reactions
- Hunsdiecker reaction, Keck radical allylation, Meerwein arylation, Sandmeyer reaction, and Wohl-Ziegler bromination