Stereochemistry of Organic Compounds

The study of stereochemistry focuses on stereoisomers and spans the entire spectrum of organic, inorganic, biological, physical and especially supramolecular chemistry. Stereochemistry is the chemistry which deals with the different arrangement of atoms or groups in a molecule in space. Louis Pasteur was the first stereochemist, having observed in 1849 from wine collected salts of tartaric acid production vessels could rotate plane polarized light, but that salts from other sources. The only physical property in which the two types of tartrate salts differed, is due to optical isomerism. Stereochemistry plays a very vital role in our day to day life. It has been observed that many living systems, plants and many pharmaceuticals possess or respond to only a particular type of arrangement in a molecule and are found to be stereospecific in nature, for example the double helical form of D.N.A turns in a right handed way, honey suckle winds as a left handed helix. Only one form of sugar plays a unique role in animal metabolism and is the basis of a multimillion dollar fermentation industry. Structural Isomers are isomers which have the same molecular formula but differ in their structures. The list of different types of structural isomers is position isomer, chain Isomers, metamerism, and functional Isomers. Stereoisomers are isomers which have the same molecular formula and same structure but differ in the arrangement of atoms or groups in space. Stereoisomers can be classified into the following two types Conformational Isomers and Configurational Isomers.

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