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Carbonyl group

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A carbonyl group is a functional group which consists of a carbon atom with is double bound to an oxygen atom. Closely related chemical groups include carboxylic acids, in which R1 or R2 = OH, esters, in which R1 or R2 = OR, and amides, in which R1 or R2 = N(R3)R4. The chemical weapon phosgene is a carbonyl group with R1=R2=Cl.


Carbonyl groups are polar and the carbon atom is electrophilic. As such, nucleophilic attack of the carbon atom is a useful reaction mechanism for chemicals containing a carbonyl group.