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Stereoisomers are molecules that have the same molecular formula and differ only in how their atoms are arranged in three-dimensional space. Be careful not to confuse them with constitutional isomers which also have the same molecular formula but differ in the way their atoms are connected. Stereoisomers are compounds that have the same molecular formula, same connectivity, and different spatial arrangements
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Scope and Importance:
The scope of this study encompasses the chiral markets with their usage in the pharmaceutical, biotechnical and agrochemical markets. BCC analyzes each market and its applications by its need for chiral products, their regulatory environment, technology involved, market projections and market share. Technological issues include the latest trends and developments. Chiral compounds are increasingly important in chemical manufacturing. They are distinguished by a special kind of asymmetry in their molecular structure. Yutaka Ukaji and colleagues at Kanazawa University have now developed a method for desymmetrising compounds to produce new chiral molecules. The process allows 99% selectivity in the chemicals produced. The property of chirality is defined by the existence of distinct mirror image geometric arrangements of the constituent parts of a molecule, known as stereoisomers. Just as your right hand cannot be directly superimposed on the left, if the molecule is chiral the mirror images cannot be directly superimposed. Chiral compounds are often described as optically active as one stereoisomer will rotate the plane of incident polarized light to the left and the other will rotate it to the right.
However, another type of isomerism, known as stereoisomerism, is much harder to describe on paper. This is because these molecules have atoms attached together in the same order, but differ from each other in their spatial (three dimensional) arrangement. You will find that your understanding of this topic will be greatly helped by looking at and building three-dimensional models of the different molecules.
There are two types of stereoisomerism that we will discuss here, geometric (now more commonly known as cis- trans), and optical isomers. When there is some constraint in a molecule that restricts the free rotation of bonded groups, they become fixed in space relative to each other. So, where there are two different groups attached to each of the two carbon atoms that have restricted rotation, this gives rise to two different three-dimensional arrangements of the atoms known as geometric isomers.
The restriction on rotation can be caused by a double bond or a cyclic structure. Cis- refers to the isomer that has the same groups on the same side of the double bond or ring, while trans- is the isomer that has the same groups on opposite sides, or across the point of restricted rotation. These prefixes are given in italics before the name of the compound.
The global chiral technology market was worth nearly $5.3 billion in 2011. This market is expected to increase at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2011 to 2016 and will approach $7.2 billion by the end of the forecast period. The emerging market for chiral technologies was worth $898.1 million in 2010 and $994.9 million in 2011. It is expected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2016, a CAGR of 10.1%. The emerging market for chiral synthesis reached nearly $665.1 million in 2010 and $740.2 million in 2011. This segment is expected to increase at a CAGR of 10.8% to reach more than $1.2 billion by 2016.
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