When Primary Haloalkanes react with :OH- and :CN- nucleophiles is it always SN1?

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Sam00
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I am currently revising Organic Chemistry, not for an AS exam, but at the same level as AS student would study.

One of the criteria is: Describe the mechanism of the reaction of primary haloalkanes with the nucleophiles :OH- and :CN-.

I understand about the bond polarity with the C-X bond, and therefore the nucleophiles attack the polarised bond and substitute the halogen atom which gives rise to a halogen ion, and also a nitrile (in the case of :CN-)

But I am confused as to what an SN1 and SN2 reaction is, and if you can have different ones for Primary Alkanes, and is it the same for an :OH- as it is with a :CN-
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charco
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(Original post by Sam00)
I am currently revising Organic Chemistry, not for an AS exam, but at the same level as AS student would study.

One of the criteria is: Describe the mechanism of the reaction of primary haloalkanes with the nucleophiles :OH- and :CN-.

I understand about the bond polarity with the C-X bond, and therefore the nucleophiles attack the polarised bond and substitute the halogen atom which gives rise to a halogen ion, and also a nitrile (in the case of :CN-)

But I am confused as to what an SN1 and SN2 reaction is, and if you can have different ones for Primary Alkanes, and is it the same for an :OH- as it is with a :CN-
Primary haloalkanes it is always SN2
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Sam00
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Report Thread starter 4 years ago
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(Original post by charco)
Primary haloalkanes it is always SN2
Thanks, that's what I meant, I tried to edit but it wouldn't let me.

Is the mechanism whereby a :NU substitutes a halogen the same for both OH- and CH- nucleophiles?

Many thanks!
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