Alcohols, Phenols, and Ethers


Alcohols, phenols, and ethers are classes of organic compounds that contain oxygen atoms. Alcohols have the general formula ROH, where R is an alkyl or aryl group. Phenols have the formula ArOH, where Ar is an aromatic ring. Ethers have the formula ROR', where R and R' are alkyl or aryl groups.

Alcohols and phenols are similar in their properties and reactions, but phenols are more acidic due to the resonance stabilization of the phenoxide ion formed upon deprotonation. Alcohols and phenols can both undergo nucleophilic substitution and elimination reactions, and can be oxidized to aldehydes, ketones, or carboxylic acids.

Ethers, on the other hand, are relatively unreactive and do not undergo many typical organic reactions. They can be synthesized through Williamson ether synthesis or by dehydration of alcohols. Ethers can also be cleaved by strong acids or oxidized to form peroxides.