Primary (chemistry)

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This article is about general bonding patterns. For sequence and cross-linking of proteins and nucleic acids, see primary structure.

Primary is a term used in organic chemistry to classify various types of compounds (e.g. alcohols, alkyl halides, amines) or reactive intermediates (e.g. alkyl radicals, carbocations).

Red highlighted central atoms in various groups of chemical compounds.

Primary central atoms compared with secondary, tertiary and quaternary central atoms.

primary secondary tertiary quaternary
Carbon atom in an alkane Prim. Hydrocarbon Structural Formulae V.1.png Sec. Hydrocarbon Structural Formulae V.1.png Tert. Hydrocarbon Structural Formulae V.1.png Quart. Hydrocarbon Structural Formulae V.1.png
Alcohol Prim. Alcohol Structural Formulae V.1.png Sec. Alcohol Structural Formulae V.1.png Tert. Alcohol Structural Formulae V.1.png does not exist
Amine Prim. Amine Structural Formulae V.1.png Sec. Amine Structural Formulae V.1.png Tert. Amine Structural Formulae V.1.png Quart. Ammonium cation Structural Formulae V.1.png
Amide Prim. Amide Structural Formulae V.1.png Sec. Amide Structural Formulae V.1.png Tert. Amide Structural Formulae V.1.png does not exist
Phosphine Prim. Phosphine Structural Formulae V.1.png Sec. Phosphine Structural Formulae V.1.png Tert. Phosphine Structural Formulae V.1.png Quart. Phosphonium Cation Structural Formulae V.1.png

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