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functional group

Organic compounds are thought of as consisting of a relatively unreactive backbone, for example a chain of sp 3 hybridized carbon atoms, and one or several functional groups. The functional group is an atom, or a group of atoms that has similar chemical properties whenever it occurs in different compounds. It defines the characteristic physical and chemical properties of families of organic compounds.
Source:
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077 (Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)) on page 1116
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IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.F02555.
Original PDF version: http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/F02555.pdf. The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
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