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Physical Properties of Ether

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Polar Nature of Ether

Since the electronegativity of oxygen is greater than that of carbon, ethers are polar in nature. Moreover, the two C-O bonds in ether are inclined to each other at an angle of 110°, and therefore, the two dipoles do not cancel each other, resulting in a net dipole moment.

Structure of ether

i.e., The dipole moment (μ) in ether ≠ 0

Boiling Point of Ether

The boiling point of ethers is lower than that of isomeric alcohols because ethers do not form H-bonds within themselves. For example, the boiling point of methoxy methane (CH3OCH3) is lower than that of ethanol (CH3CH2OH) even though both have the same formula C2H6O.

Solubility of Ether

Density of Ether

Ethers are lighter than water.

Question

Question : The boiling points of ethers are much lower than those of the alcohols of comparable molar masses. Explain why?

Answer : Because ethers do not form intermolecular H-bond with themselves whereas alcohols do.

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