Organic compound having R-O-R’ as functional group are called ethers.
Structure and Nomenclature of Ethers
General formula :R-O-R’ are the same or different alkyl , aryl , alkeny , vinyl , alkynl groups.
1. (i) simple / symmetrical ethers : R & R’ are the same group
e.g. CH3-O-CH3 Dimethyl ether
(ii) Mixed / Unsymmetrical ethers: R & R’ are different group
e.g. C6H5-O-CH2C6H5 Benzyl phenyl ether
2. (i) aliphatic ethers : R & R’ are alkyl groups
e.g. CH3-O-CH2CH3 Ethyl methyl ether
(ii) Aromatic ethers : Either are both R & R’ are aryl groups
e.g. C6H5-O-C6H5 Diphenyl ethers
Aromatic ethers are further subdivided into :
(a) Phenolic ethers: One of the groups are aryl while other is alkyl or Alkyl aryl ethers
e.g. C6H5-O-CH3 Methyl phenyl ether
(b) Diaryl ethers: both groups are aryl
e.g. C6H5-O-C6H5 Diphenyl ether
3. There are various types of cyclic ethers also.
(i) Cyclic ethers consisting of 2 C’ s in a 3 member ether are called as oxirane or Epoxides
(ii) 3 C’s in a 4 member ether are called oxetanes
(iii) 4C’s in a 5 member ether are called tetrahydrofurans.