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Alkyl Halide vs. Aryl Halide — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 28, 2023
Alkyl Halide is a halogen-substituted alkane, while Aryl Halide has a halogen bonded directly to an aromatic ring.
Alkyl Halide vs. Aryl Halide — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Alkyl Halide and Aryl Halide

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Key Differences

Alkyl Halide refers to halogenated hydrocarbons where the halogen is bonded to a sp3-hybridized carbon atom of an alkyl group. Conversely, Aryl Halide is characterized by the attachment of a halogen atom directly to an aromatic ring, specifically to a sp2-hybridized carbon.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
Alkyl Halides, due to the nature of their bond, often undergo nucleophilic substitution reactions with ease. In contrast, Aryl Halides are less reactive towards nucleophilic substitution due to the partial double bond character that the carbon-halogen bond assumes in the aromatic system.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
While both Alkyl Halides and Aryl Halides have halogen atoms, the placement and bond nature differ significantly, causing differences in their reactivity and properties. Alkyl Halides can be primary, secondary, or tertiary depending on the nature of the carbon bonded to the halogen. Aryl Halides, on the other hand, don't have this classification due to their direct connection to the aromatic ring.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
To sum up, while both Alkyl Halides and Aryl Halides involve halogen atoms bonded to carbon, the former is bonded to an alkyl group and the latter to an aromatic ring.
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Nov 28, 2023

Comparison Chart

Bonding Carbon

Bonded to sp3-hybridized carbon.
Bonded to sp2-hybridized carbon of an aromatic ring.
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Nov 28, 2023
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Reactivity

Undergoes nucleophilic substitution easily.
Less reactive to nucleophilic substitution.
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Structure

Halogen attached to an alkyl group.
Halogen directly attached to an aromatic ring.
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Common Examples

Methyl chloride, ethyl bromide.
Chlorobenzene, bromobenzene.
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Nature of C-X bond

Single bond.
Partial double bond due to resonance.
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Nov 28, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Alkyl Halide

Can be primary, secondary, or tertiary.
Depending on the halogen's attachment, an Alkyl Halide can be classified.
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Aryl Halide

Halogen directly bonded to an aromatic ring.
Chlorobenzene is an Aryl Halide where chlorine is attached to benzene.
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Alkyl Halide

Derived from alkanes by replacing hydrogen with halogens.
In ethyl bromide, a hydrogen of ethane is replaced, forming an Alkyl Halide.
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Aryl Halide

Often used as intermediates in organic synthesis.
Despite being less reactive, Aryl Halides are valuable in chemical synthesis.
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Alkyl Halide

Halogen-substituted alkanes.
Methyl chloride is a simple Alkyl Halide.
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Aryl Halide

Less reactive than Alkyl Halides in nucleophilic substitution.
Aryl Halides require stronger conditions for reactions due to their stability.
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Alkyl Halide

Commonly involved in nucleophilic substitution reactions.
Alkyl Halides are popular in organic synthesis due to their reactivity.
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Oct 08, 2023

Aryl Halide

The C-X bond has partial double bond character.
The bond in Aryl Halides is partly a double bond due to resonance.
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Alkyl Halide

Found in many natural products and medicines.
Some Alkyl Halides have therapeutic properties.
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Aryl Halide

Can be activated or deactivated based on substituents.
The reactivity of an Aryl Halide can change with different substituents.
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Common Curiosities

Are Aryl Halides more reactive than Alkyl Halides?

No, Aryl Halides are generally less reactive towards nucleophilic substitution.
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Nov 28, 2023

Can Alkyl Halides be classified further?

Yes, they can be primary, secondary, or tertiary based on halogen attachment.
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Nov 28, 2023

What is the main difference between Alkyl Halide and Aryl Halide?

Alkyl Halide has a halogen bonded to an alkyl group, while Aryl Halide has it bonded to an aromatic ring.
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Nov 28, 2023

Why is the C-X bond in Aryl Halides partially double-bonded?

Due to resonance in the aromatic ring.
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Are Alkyl Halides naturally occurring?

Yes, some are found in natural products and are used in medicines.
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Do Aryl Halides undergo nucleophilic substitution?

They can, but they generally require stronger conditions than Alkyl Halides.
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Can Alkyl Halides form Grignard reagents?

Yes, when reacted with magnesium metal in dry ether.
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Is chlorobenzene a type of Aryl Halide?

Yes, because the chlorine atom is directly attached to the benzene ring.
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Is bromobenzene an Alkyl Halide or Aryl Halide?

It's an Aryl Halide as the bromine is attached to a benzene ring.
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What makes Alkyl Halides important in organic chemistry?

Their reactivity, especially in nucleophilic substitution reactions.
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Which is more polar, an Alkyl Halide or Aryl Halide?

Alkyl Halides tend to be more polar due to their structure.
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What kind of reactions do Aryl Halides commonly undergo?

Electrophilic aromatic substitution, nucleophilic aromatic substitution under strong conditions.
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Nov 28, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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