Stereochemical Nomenclature

Due to historical reasons, several stereochemical descriptors are in use to classify chiral molecules, each of them independent from the others. These are the Cahn-Ingold-Prelog (CIP) system with the S/R-notation, the (+) or (-) direction of rotation of linearly-polarized light, as well as the d/l, d/l, P/M, and A/A-nomenclatures. All these classifications arise from different physical or structural observations and thus, the lets say given S-configuration of a chiral molecule does not include sufficient information to deduce whether this molecule has (+)-or (-)-optical activity or D- or L-configuration! In this Sect. 2.3, the stereochemi-cal nomenclatures will be introduced briefly and in a manner adapted to the study of homochirality phenomena. For more detailed information, particularly on the enantiospecificity and stereoselectivity of a wide range of asymmetric chemical reactions, the interested reader is referred to textbooks on organic chemistry and stereochemistry, for example the recent and new style one by Clayden et al. (2006).

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