Aromatic Chemistry - Improved Benzene Model (A-Level Chemistry)

Improved Benzene Model

Delocalised Model of Benzene

True Structure of Benzene

Following the discovery of evidence against the Kekulé model of benzene, an alternative explanation for its structure had to be developed.

The actual structure of benzene, which takes into account all the observations outlined in the previous tutorial, is that of a planar, cyclic molecule in which each carbon atom has a hydrogen atom sticking out from the ring.

Delocalised Ring of Electrons

Carbon atoms in the benzene ring are sp² hydbridised. The remaining unhybridised p orbitals from each carbon atom overlap and form a delocalised region of electrons above and below the ring. Each C-C bond is an intermediate between a single and a double bond and is the same length.

The delocalisation of the electron orbitals makes benzene unusually stable.

Improved Benzene Model
Improved Benzene Model

Symbol for Benzene

The structural symbol for benzene is shown below:

Improved Benzene Model
Improved Benzene Model

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