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3.9 Naming Spiro and Bicyclic Alkanes

Lesson Summary

Spiro Alkanes

IUPAC names for spiro alkanes have the format spiro[a.b]parent name.

1. Count the total number of carbons across the entire molecule. This tells you the alkane parent name that goes at the end.
2. Count the number of carbons to the left, and to the right of your spiro-carbon center. These numbers are a and b in your IUPAC name, listed from highest to lowest.
3. Write your final IUPAC name as spiro[a.b]parent name.

Bicyclic Alkanes

IUPAC names for bicylic alkanes have the format bicyclo[a.b.c]parent name.

1. Count the total number of carbons across the entire molecule. This tells you the alkane parent name that goes at the end.
2. Count the number of carbons to the left, and to the right, and above your bridgehead carbons. These numbers are a, b, and c in your IUPAC name, listed from highest to lowest.
3. Write your final IUPAC name as bicyclo[a.b.c]parent name.