Best AP Chem Review Book

What’s the Best Review Book for AP Chem? Our Top List

Chemistry is a complex subject, meaning a helpful review makes a difference in the world.  Since AP Chemistry is considered one of the most challenging classes in the AP canon, it’s wise to pick up some additional resources to aid in your studying.

Here are the best AP Chem review books to purchase today!


Barron’s Test Prep

Editor's Choice


AP Chemistry Crash Course


5 Steps to a 5

Top 5 Review Books for AP Chemistry

1. Barron’s Test Prep

Written and reviewed by AP experts, the Barron’s Test Prep offers reviews specially made to cater to the most recent exams. 

The AP chemistry exam is equipped with chapter quizzes, comprehensive content review, and even full-length practice tests to get you ready for the real thing, making it one of the best AP chemistry textbooks in the market.

It’s no wonder that Barron AP chemistry has been the most well-known and trusted material provider by schools, universities, teachers, and students for over 80 years. It’s the best AP Chemistry crash for many establishments.

Editor's Choice



2. AP Chemistry Crash Course

As the name suggests, this AP Chemistry Exam review book summarizes and focuses only on the information you need to know. 

If you’re a student who’s only a week or two away from that daunting exam, this is the best AP Chemistry textbook book for you! 

The AP Chemistry Crash Course does cover all the major and minor topics students are expected to learn in an AP Chemistry class exam.

This AP chemistry crash course also features practice tests and quizzes to mimic an exam and continuously refresh your memory after a few short and straightforward review content.



3. 5 Steps to a 5

The five steps to a 5 AP Chemistry Elite Edition is one of the most popular chemistry review books on the market regarding comprehensive practice problems.

It features three complete length practice tests to simulate the real things, short daily activities to make sure you absorb the information you review daily, summarized but complete information on every page. 

It doesn’t stop there. The 5 Steps to a 5 AP Chemistry review book is also available in ebook versions so that you can study anytime and anywhere. 

There are also multiple-choice questions, diagnostic tests, and a free-response section to get you ready before the actual exam.

The 5 Steps to 5 online platform even has some video material you can use when the reading gets a bit too boring for test-taking strategies.



4. Princeton Review AP Chemistry Prep

These AP review books are Written and reviewed by Princeton professionals. This AP Chemistry review book is, to no surprise, one of the best AP Chemistry review books in the market.

It boasts seven full-length practice drills, advice and exercises on memory retention and focus, up to date to align with board standards and even advice on guessing answers logically.

You also get access to study plans, a list of fundamental equations, and more through the handy Student Tools, which are available online for your exam preparation.



5. Sterling Test Prep AP Chemistry Practice Questions

Offering 900 high-yield practice drills, the Sterling Test Prep AP Chemistry Practice Questions will get you as ready as you’ll ever be for your coming exam.

It’s one of the best AP chemistry books that offers a wide variety of tests varieties.

It was written to give you the information you need and teach you how to apply that knowledge in your exam and day-to-day life.



AP Chem Course Summary

Ap Chem course summary

It is an introduction to collegiate-level Chemistry. AP Chemistry textbook teaches and encourages students to cultivate their understanding of the subject. 

It uses inquiry-based laboratory investigations while exploring the four main big-scale ideas: proportion, scale, and quantity, properties, and atomic structure. 

Examination Summary

An AP Chemistry exam allows students to earn credits for college and is made and distributed by the College Board.

Advanced Placement exams are more often seen in the United States and Canada and are less likely to be experienced by students in other countries

Ultimate Buying Guide

buying guide

Content Structure

This parameter will be assessing the efficiency and comprehensiveness of the way the information is laid out in the book. 

Content structure is an essential factor when choosing a book, much less a review book, making the college admissions process more accessible.

Make sure to check out whether it has experimental procedures included in the course.


Look for a crash course book that fits your needs. Look for a reviewer that won’t replace the stress of AP exams with the stress of the bill. Assessing the value for money of the best AP chemistry book should be considered.

Practice Tests

It’s essential to consider the kind of practice tests the book you choose because it’s not only to test your memory and understanding but also to simulate the real thing. 

It should include chemical reactions and other tests so that you won’t get the answer wrong with the help of the crash coursebook.

Ask an older brother, friend, or schoolmate for exam tips and how they are built out. You will want to find a book that features the same, and check out if they have an AP planner app.

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Online Exams

Not all chemistry review books offer online material. However, it has been a fast-growing trend in recent years. If an online exam is essential to you or is your school’s examination method, be sure to find one with this feature when you purchase an AP review book.

When choosing a book with online practice exams, make sure that the questions have a similar feel to what you usually get at school. Again, the point of these mock exams is to simulate the real thing for your chemistry courses.

Special Features

This is an optional consideration with AP tests. Still, with the expanding number of new biochemistry books being released by thousands of publishers worldwide, most have resorted to giving extra perks or special features (like flashcards) to give them an edge over the rest. It makes your AP classes easier.


Yes. Based on the standards of the College Board, a three is considered qualified, four are well qualified, and five are extremely well qualified. (1)

Yes, exams are never made to be complicated. These are made to ensure that one has adequate knowledge in every aspect of the course. 


It covers a variety of aspects, including a multiple-choice portion and the free-response portion.

Students typically feel ready to take on AP Chemistry after finishing junior or senior high school. 

During this time, students have already had an introduction to the basics of chemistry, therefore giving the foundation needed to comprehend the next steps.

And the #1 Review Book for AP Chem is…

After hours of comparing, the best AP Chem review book goes to Barron’s Test Prep!

Not only is it made by one of the most trusted publishers, but it’s also complete with every minute detail about AP Chemistry. 

Also, the Barron’s Test Prep constantly updates every bit of information based on the board’s changes, ensuring current standards of quality are met.

Editor's Choice

OUR # 1 Recommendation

Barron’s Test Prep

Best USB Microscope

What’s the Best USB Microscope Today? Reviews & Buying Guide

The microscopic world becomes a lot more exciting when you have the right tools to learn and discover new things. Using the best USB microscope has propelled innovation into a new era of science and technology. 

Let this detailed buying guide provide you with an informed decision before making any purchase.


Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope

Editor's Choice


Jiusion Magnification Endoscope


Celestron Digital Microscope

Top 10 USB Microscopes for 2021

1. Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope

The Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope is one of the best USB microscopes with a 40 to 250x magnification power. And it’s just under 50 dollars. This portable device is also easy to use as it is a plug-and-play tool that lets you take photos and videos.  

It also comes with a 2.0-megapixel camera, a standard webcam chipset, and a CMOS sensor, compatible with almost all operating systems equipped with webcam software. Furthermore, this microscope features a flexible arm that allows users to use the tool with a stand or a handheld microscope. 

It comes with four dimmable LED halo lights that you can easily adjust for brightness. Moreover, it also provides a white graduated observation pad that lets its users easily measure specimens.

Editor's Choice



2. Jiusion Magnification Endoscope

The Jiusion Magnification Endoscope is also one of the best USB microscopes that could function as a microscope, a camera, and an endoscope – all in one portable and compact package. This affordable USB microscope also comes with a sharp focus range of 1 to 90mm and 40 to 1000x magnification.

Furthermore, it can capture and record magnified specimen images using its Chrome OS camera and quick camera function. This handheld microscope can also measure microscopic specimens because of its measurement software. And lastly, it features two adjustment knobs that let its users control the focus and brightness of the camera to achieve excellent image quality.



3. Celestron Digital Microscope

The Celestron Digital Microscope is another best handheld digital USB microscope that features 20 to 200x magnification. This portable USB microscope is excellent for observing three-dimensional specimens. Furthermore, it can also capture and save high-resolution videos and photos because it has a 5-megapixel sensor. 

This digital microscope also features a superior shutter speed range, a decent quality glass objective lens, and an easy focus capability. It also comes with intuitive software that comes with specimen measurement functions and an adjustable height stand.



4. Elikliv Coin Microscope

The Elikliv Coin Microscope is another USB microscope with a 4.3 inch LCD that displays a clear picture and video. It also allows users to view all the observation results in detail, which they can quickly adjust. This USB microscope is convenient for easy, accurate observation and soldering without tiring your eyes. 

Furthermore, it comes with a 50X-1000X magnification that allows users to zoom in and see the incredible details of observations. It also comes with eight adjustable LED lights that efficiently illuminate specimens in a dark environment.



5. Koolertron USB Microscope

The Koolertron USB Microscope features a built-in 4.3-inch full-color LCD. It also comes with a continuous 10 to 600x magnification range at an affordable price. It has a 2M image sensor, providing high-resolution images and videos. 

Furthermore, it comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last for up to two hours. It also comes with a specimen stage with a measuring scale and a durable and weighted height-adjustable stand.

You can even use a Micro SD card to save your specimen’s images and videos.



6. PalliPartners LCD Digital Microscope

The PalliPartners LCD Digital Microscope comes with a huge seven-inch LCD with 1x-1200xmagnification. It also features 1080p/720p resolution that displays a high-quality image and video resolution. 

This portable device also features a focusing wheel that lets users adjust the other objects to the lens to see better details.

Its built-in lithium battery can last up to four to five hours. And lastly, it can be used by hand without a bracket, and its screen can be tilted up to 270 degrees angle.



7. Aven Digital Handheld Microscope

The Aven Digital Handheld Microscope is another handheld USB microscope that features a 10 to 200x magnification equipped with a five-megapixel camera. This microscope captures still and high-quality pictures and a full-motion video directly to the computer. 

Furthermore, it also has a ¼-inch CMOS color image sensor and a USB output for easy connection. This is a lightweight microscope alternative perfect for classroom and field applications.



8. Dino-Lite USB Digital Microscope

The Dino-Lite USB Digital Microscope is a portable USB microscope excellent for hobbyists, students, and even professionals alike. It is equipped with a high-quality 0.3-megapixel camera and a 10 to 50 and 230x variable magnification.  

Additionally, it comes with built-in software that saves, annotates, compares, analyzes images easily and conveniently. This microscope camera also works on various devices such as laptops, tablets, computers, and smartphones.



9. eBoTrade USB Microscope

The eBoTrade USB Microscope is a digital USB microscope that features a 20x-300x magnification level.

It also comes with a five-megapixel camera that lets you capture pictures and videos.

It has built-in LED lights and comes with a professional support base.

Lastly, it is compatible with Windows XP Vista Win 7 Win 8 Win 10 Mac OS.



10. Walfront Digital USB Microscope

The Walfront Digital USB Microscope is another best USB microscope that efficiently magnifies specimens within 8mm. This microscope features a maximum of 8mm outer diameter. 

It also comes with a two-megapixel camera and an eight-LED light design that offers a good light source. This portable microscope also supports Android devices of various connectors, including micro USB cable and type-c USB connection. And lastly, its focal length can be adjusted manually.



What’s a USB Microscope Used For?

A digital USB microscope is a type of digital microscope that offers various usages, such as studying live and inorganic materials. This microscope also works like a typical web camera that lets you capture images and videos.   

These digital USB microscopes are often used in classrooms, field explorations, home laboratories, and basic research. This tool provides convenience because it is compact, lightweight, and portable. 

However, it has a fair share of limitations, such as lower magnification. With this tool, you may only study basic research but not cells, bacteria, microorganisms, viruses, and anything too small to be seen by the naked eye.

How Is It Different From Other Types of Microscopes?

Typically, digital USB microscopes are more lightweight than other models of microscopes. They are also more compact and offer the convenience of portability. Furthermore, they can be used with or without any device such as laptops or PCs. They also let you save photos and videos.  

However, like pocket microscopes, these portable instruments may have a lower magnification level than other microscopes. Therefore, they can only be used for fundamental research and for studying simple specimens. These devices can be plugged into a PC or computer through a USB connector and a USB port

Ultimate Buying Guide

buying guide

Image Quality

The image quality of the digital USB microscope should be on top of your priority list when buying the best USB microscope in the market. These types of microscopes let you save images and videos.

Therefore, it is essential to search for a microscope for pathologists that offers high resolution. Remember, it is always better to have a 12 MP USB camera than a 2MP usb microscope camera. 

Screen Size

Digital microscopes do not feature an optical viewfinder. However, they do come with a screen display on top, which allows their users to see the camera feed of the microscope. Hence, our team suggests looking for a digital USB microscope that offers at least four inches up to eight inches LCD. 


Like most standard microscopes, digital USB microscopes also offer zoom functions. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that your chosen microscope could provide a high-quality zoom function for optimal clarity. 

We suggest looking for a microscope with at least 1000x to 2000x zoom like the OMAX Biological Compound Binocular which is equipped with a Double Layer Mechanical Stage.

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The microscope’s software is also important to consider before investing in a pluggable USB digital microscope.

Typically, the microscope’s software tells you what devices it could support and could work with.   

The software also lets you use various functions such as viewing, capturing, editing, saving and sharing specimen images and videos. It is primarily compatible with Windows devices.

However, it would be better if you can find a tool that can also work with Mac or IOS devices.


While most USB microscopes work with Windows/MAC OS, some arUSB,e somewhat challenging to pair with devices. Aside from relying just on its user manual, we also recommend testing the functionality of these microscopes before purchasing them. Some even connect with various connectors aside from USB, which may become a bonus.  

Price tag

Of course, the price tag may only become a significant problem if you are a budget buyer. However, since most digital microscopes are budget-friendly, you won’t dwell on this category as much.  Either way, if you are a wise spender, considering the price range of these devices may still become useful at some point, so it’s up to you to decide. 


The warranty often attracts potential buyers because it ensures that the device is useful up to a certain time. Furthermore, a company that offers longer warranty service reflects its confidence about its products and QC inspection, making buyers trust them more.


A USB microscope conveniently works since it is usually a plug-and-play device type. You can use this device by simply plugging it into the computer to use its function. Some USB microscopes even work without any device because they already have a screen that views the specimen from various angles.

It’s a given fact that Galileo Galilei improved upon the compound microscope design in 1609 and called it an occhiolino or “little eye.” [1] However, the early digital microscope was made by Hirox Co Ltd, a lens company in Tokyo, Japan. Later on, Keyence Corp and Leica Microsystems developed it, including the USB microscope.

And the #1 USB Microscope is...

Based on almost 24 hours of research and testing, our team’s #1 USB microscope is the Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope. It comes with a 40 to 250x magnification power and a 2.0-megapixel camera. 

We particularly liked how it features a standard web camera chipset and a CMOS sensor, compatible with almost all operating systems. Furthermore, we were also able to adjust its LED halo lights easily. And lastly, its white graduated observation pad is useful as it makes us easily measure any specimen.

Editor's Choice

OUR # 1 Recommendation

Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope

Best Scientific Calculator For Chemistry

What’s the Best Scientific Calculator For Chemistry? Our Top Picks

Most of us find Chemistry classes challenging. We think it’s helpful to buy scientific calculators, especially for those difficult calculations. However, with several Chemistry calculators available today, it’s equally challenging to choose just one. 

After literally spending 87 hours researching and testing more than 30 devices, we finally found the best scientific calculator for Chemistry classes.  





Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro


HP 35s

HP 35s

Top 7 Scientific Calculators for Chemistry

1. Casio FX115ESPLUS

First on the list is the Casio FX115ESPLUS scientific calculator. It’s one of the most popular products of the Casio brand.

This scientific calculator is ideal for chemistry, computer science, and engineering calculations at an affordable price. This engineering scientific calculator also provides around 280 functions. 

It also comes with more improved math functionality designed for chemistry or physics, maths, engineering, statistics, algebra, calculus, and trigonometry uses. This scientific calculator also allows at least 40 metric conversions and elements.




2. Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro

The Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro is also one of the best scientific calculators that features vast functions that solve complex calculations. 

It also provides a multi-view display, which lets students review more than one calculation simultaneously.

This high-quality chemistry calculator also comes with all types of math symbols, calculus, math expressions, and stacked fractions like a graphing calculator.

Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro



3. HP 35s

The HP35s is also a high-quality scientific calculator that is useful for professionals in various fields.

This can be used in medicine, surveying science, and engineering.

This model also features an excellent battery life that can last up to more than nine months.

Moreover, it has a display contrast feature making it easier to use indoors and outdoors.

HP 35s



4. Helect

The Helect is a professional-grade scientific calculator that provides at least 240 scientific functions.

It also easily handles one and two-variable statistical calculations, angle modes, and scientific/engineering notation modes.

It has a 12-digit widescreen and a two-line HD display.

It has responsive buttons, a comfortable grip, clear number, and scratch-proof function.




5. Texas Instruments TI-34

Texas Instruments TI-34 is another scientific calculator that allows its students to enter more than one calculation.

Students can also explore patterns and compare results, all on the same screen.

This calculator has a MathPrint mode where they can enter and view calculations in standard Math.

Texas Instruments TI-34



6. Texas Instruments TI-30Xa

Sixth on the list is the Texas Instruments TI-30Xa scientific calculator is ideal for high school and college students.

Furthermore, this battery-operated calculator also includes a slide case for protection.

This calculator can also be used for trigonometric and basic science functions.

It comes with one line, one-variable statistics, and ten digits display.

Texas Instruments TI-30Xa



7. Sharp EL-W516XBSL

The Sharp EL-W516XBSL scientific calculator features 556 different scientific functions.

This calculator also features an extra-large four-line and 16-digit LCD screen.

This calculator also has a Write View Technology, which displays formulas commonly written in textbooks.

It can solve three simultaneous equations and has various modes.

Sharp EL-W516XBSL



Factors to Consider Before Buying


Are You Allowed to Use It During Class?  

One factor that needs careful consideration when buying a calculator is its flexibility. Some best scientific calculators may or may not be used during classes due to their super-advanced technology. Therefore, before buying a calculator, you must determine whether you are okay not to use such a calculator in a chemistry class or not.    

What are the Functions? 

It is also wise to consider the functions of the calculator. Our team suggests getting a calculator that can find pH values, calculus functions, has conversion abilities, and can find exponential values. Some graphing calculators can solve simple equations and can save formulas. 

Any Advanced Options? 

The advanced option of your scientific calculators must follow suit with how advanced your learning curve is. Often, a high school student needs to determine their lessons’ advancement to find the best calculator for chemistry classes they attend. This will ensure that the option of their scientific calculators is helpful enough for them.

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You will need a scientific calculator for chem because some chemistry calculations are different from base arithmetic calculations. Therefore, such a calculator must have all the functions required to solve chemistry calculations.

A scientific calculator is a calculator designed to help you calculate science, engineering, mathematics, and chemistry problems. It has special buttons for parentheses, exponents, inverses of trigonometric functions, and pi. [1]

And the #1 Scientific Calculator for a Chemistry Subject is...

Our team unanimously chooses the Casio FX115ESPLUS as the #1 scientific calculator for a chemistry subject. It has a multi-replay feature that allows a college student to recheck their calculations. 

They can edit each step and calculate them again.  You can also use this calculator on the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and ACT college entrance exams. It is lightweight and fast. It even provides dual power of solar and battery to avoid last-minute accidents.


OUR # 1 Recommendation


Best Hot Plate for Distilling

What’s the Best Hot Plate for Distilling? List + Buying Guide

The best hot plate for distilling is a lifesaver for homes where clean water is scarce. Water bodies close to industrial sectors contain plenty of chemicals, which isn’t suitable for drinking. 

After more than 100 hours of research and testing, our team came up with this list. Let’s see what’s the best hot plate for distilling.


Cadco CSR-3T

Cadco CSR-3T





Amazon Basics

Amazon Basics

Top 5 Hot Plates for Distilling

1. Cadco CSR-3T

The unit comes in with the Robertshaw thermostat, which is the hot plate to give you your desired temp with accuracy for water distillation or to make a variety of food.

Cadco CSR-3T hot plate comes with a signal, indicating that the burner is on for a safe process when you boil water on your vessel. Turn on the switch for the flame and let it boil.

The stainless steel body is easy to clean up with water and cloth. It’s suitable for people with a glass stove as well.

It has a dense rubber foot to ensure that the hot plate vessel is stable. With this feature, you are assured that it will not wiggle even when large vessels are on it.

Cadco CSR-3T



2. Duxtop

The Duxtop Hot Plate product is one of the sleeker options on the list with its modernistic design for your home. It gives you a 120V 15 amp, which is the standard process for American homes. We recommend you use a saucepan with a lid.

The unit is ETL listed, and it meets the process of North American electrical requirements. It only weighs five pounds. The unit also gives you a compact build for a heavier vessel base.

The digital panel and the unit’s LED display make the process easy to adjust water temperature and view. It delivers a convenient built-in count-down timer, which goes up to 170 minutes when distilling water.

It features an auto-pan and overheats protection with a diagnostic error message so you can monitor it from time to time. It gives you a low and high voltage warning system for water, too.




3. Amazon Basics

AmazonBasics hot plate is slightly heavier than the Duxtop Hot Plate, but it remains one of the more portable options at roughly six pounds for the home. 

The hot plate looks quite similar to the Duxtop hot plate as well in terms of aesthetics. It gives you plenty of safety features, including a pause feature, overheat protection, and voltage warning when shimmering water. 

The unit features a glass panel stovetop, making the cleaning process easy. It does require induction-compatible cookware, like cast iron and cast aluminum. 

It’s ideal for people with a small area because of its compact design, so it fits nicely in studio apartments and RVs. The LED display provides you with a pre-set and 3-hour timer.

Amazon Basics



4. Broil King CSR-3TB

Broil King CSR-3TB hot plate is a high-power hot plate for your home. The unit features an eight-inch from 120 volts to 1500 watts. 

It comes with a thermostat with infinite heat water control that enables people to achieve their desired water temp.

The hot plate is industrial rated, meaning it’s suitable for the process of boiling and simmering water. It gives you sturdy housing as well. We recommend using a saucepan with a lid.

Broil King hot plate is made from heavy-duty steel for longevity. You’re also getting a convenient signal for when it is distilling water. Housing is easy to clean, and it’s in a vibrant grey color.

Broil King CSR-3TB



5. Moonshine Distiller

The Moonshine hot plate is mainly for distilling water, which is an excellent purchase if you’re looking for budget-friendly hot plates for your choice water distiller.

Moonshine is usable for cooking and laboratory use as well. Turn on the flame, and you can start using it.

However, unlike the industrial-rated products on the list, the hot plate can’t cater to objects heavier than a ten-pound vessel for food.

Moonshine Distiller



Your Guide to Buying

buying guide


The price can be anywhere between under $100 to $200, depending on the size, feature, material, and casing.

You can already purchase a highly functioning hot plate for water distilling at $75. However, it might not be wise to buy a hot plate below the $70-mark as it may compensate for quality.

Is It Easy to Clean?

A hot plate for distilling water with a metal body is the easiest to clean. You can use a damp cloth to wipe it up after removing hard water and debris from the housing. What’s more, a metal housing looks good aesthetically on some countertops as well. 

Is It User-Friendly?

The best hot plate equipment is easy to use for multiple purposes. There are some models with easy-to-use knobs so that you can get the precise temp for food. You’ll find videos and tutorials helpful.

A push to start button is best as it keeps it simple. An indicator signal works too for safety measures when burners are on. Make sure to place a saucepan with a lid. You can choose gas or electricity, too.

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Is It Durable?

Look for a hot plate with metal housing as it’s durable. A lot of models can accommodate a heavier vessel to avoid breakage when using it for food and other ways.

If you can afford a bit more, premium models are made from plastic that does well long-term. Take a look at their warranty. It should be compatible on a glass top stove as well. These are also useful for researchers who use distilled water for their laboratories and industries as it kills bacteria (1).


No, an average hot plate only uses 1,200 watts of power.

You should stop distilling at around 205 to 207 degrees.

And the #1 Hot Plate for Distilling is…

At the end of our study, the #1 hot plate is Cadco CSR-3T hot plate in the market. It gives you an eight-inch high-speed tubular element, and for your convenience, it features the Robertshaw for water temperature accuracy with infinite heating control ability.

The on/off rocker keeps it incredibly simple to use, and the noticeable power signal prevents incidents when you boil water. The metal housing is easy to clean, and it sits at a comfortable price range.

Cadco CSR-3T

OUR # 1 Recommendation

Cadco CSR-3T

Best Organic Chemistry Model Kit

What’s the Best Organic Chemistry Model Kit? Top Picks & Alternatives

Taking an organic chemistry class needs a lot of preparation, and reading textbooks isn’t enough. A molecular model kit is an essential tool for any student as it helps you understand chemistry concepts better.

The question is, what’s the best organic chemistry model kit to buy? After hours of testing, connecting, and building each kit, here’s our ultimate list.


Dalton Labs

Dalton Labs


Old Nobby

Old Nobby


Duluth Labs

Duluth Labs

Top 10 Organic Chemistry Model Kits in 2021

1. Dalton Labs

You’re getting a conventional ball-and-stick molecular model kit that provides you with color-coded atoms to fit the universal standards. 

Most of the items in the model kit are carbons, hydrogens, and bonds. The single bonds are short and rigid. Meanwhile, Dalton labs provide you with longer and flexible items for double and triple bonds. 

What makes Dalton Labs model kit better than similar model kits is that it gives aspiring scientists small, paddle-shaped items for the p and pi orbitals. 

Although it’s not required, these assist the students in understanding electrons better in a provided molecule. 

The model kit delivers good value, considering it offers 306 parts in total. It also gives the students access to 3D molecular modelling software. 

Depending on your child’s needs, the model kit comes in various sizes, starting from 123 to 496 parts (fullerene models).

Dalton Labs



2. Old Nobby

Old Nobby Molecular Model Kit delivers organic, inorganic, and functional groups for easy chemistry learning. It fits both beginners and advanced students for versatility.

For first-time users, the modeling kit provides you with an eight-page instructional guide so that you can identify the atoms and connectors. 

The Old Nobby molecular kit is a 239-piece kit, which falls short compared to the 306-piece Dalton Labs model kit. 

The kit provides you with color codes to visually help you understand the structure and compounds better.

The high-quality atoms and bonds allow you to swiftly connect and disconnect, so you can build complex structures within minutes to avoid finger fatigue. 

The manufacturer threw in a bonus link remover to make dissembling easy and fast.

Old Nobby



3. Duluth Labs

Duluth Labs is another conventional ball and stick kit, similar to other model kits on the list. It comes with 125 items, and it does not have a lone pair or p orbital items. 

It’s a good option for a tight budget as it’s one of the cheaper ones on the market. However, it can only build only several models at once, which may not fit for classes. 

It comes in a rigid plastic box with a lid to secure it. Unlike the Old Nobby chemical structure model kit, the container can hold them without them falling over, which is a neat feature.

In total, it gives you 54 atoms for your molecular structures and functional groups. It comes with a molecular tool as well, allowing youtube to disassemble molecules and the atom connectors.

Duluth Labs



4. Molymod

Molymod molecular kit is cheaper than Duluth Labs, making it the cheapest product on the list. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, taking advantage of this 113-piece kit makes a good deal. 

While it isn’t as extensive as other brands, it does cover the essentials for basic modeling in your organic chem classes. 

On the other hand, because it lacks items, you cannot build multiple molecules simultaneously for teachers. It is especially true for larger molecules, such as sugars. 

The plastic container comes with four compartments, so it’s easy to organize for storage.




5. Happy Atoms

The Happy Atoms molecular model kit allows you to build, scan, and identify the molecules and elements. It’s a 17-atom chemical structure set, including the following atoms: 8 H, 3 C, 2 N, 2 O, 1 NA, and 1 cl. 

What makes Happy Atoms molecular model kit the go-to option for some buyers is its free downloadable application, which allows you to take a snap with your smartphone to scan the molecule you built. 

It analyzes the atom’s size, shape, and markings. 

The application shows its composition, usage, properties, and so much more. It recognizes over 10,000 molecules in its modelling kit.

Happy Atoms



6. Molecular Visions

Molecular Visions molecular model kit is different from the other model kits on the list as it does not have the typical ball-and-stick structure. Instead, it uses a push structure system, which is similar to the Kinex set. 

The molecule model kit by Molecular Visions is quite costly, and you’re getting it in a small plastic box. 

However, what makes the molecular model kit neat is the included guidebook. Students and teachers look at it as a mini organic chem course because of the value it brings. 

You may find the items harder to use than the traditional ball and stick molecular model structure, though. It’s a little challenging to put the things back into their case as you need to invest time to fit. You can always change the original box to make it more convenient.

Molecular Visions



7. LearnOn

Despite being one of the more affordable molecular model kits on the list, its quality is far from being the worst. Upon purchasing LearnOn molecular model kit, you’re getting a high-value eight-page illustrated user guide for your reference. 

The package comes with a total of 140 items. To be precise, you are given fifty high-quality atom parts and ninety links in this chemistry molecular model kit for building structure.

Like how the molecular model kits are, the atoms are color-coded to fit the universal standards, making identification easy. This educational molecule kit also gives you a link removal tool.




8. Snatoms

Snatoms chemistry molecular model kit is one of the more premium model kits on the list. If you’re willing to pay the cost for the best quality, Snatoms chemistry molecular model kit is a good choice for chemistry.

Unlike the molecular model kits ones, the atom pieces are magnetic. Snatoms believe that having the atoms stick together using magnets for models provides a more realistic understanding of how it looks for teachers and students.

The molecular model kit enables you to have lesser items in the molecular model kit as you do not need the stick pieces. Due to this, the organic chemistry kit only comes with 74 pieces in the box. 

This educational molecule has magnetic carbon atoms, but you’ll find small black bars as well for double and triple bonds.




9. University Chemistry Co.

The University Chemistry organic chemistry kit gives you 273 pieces, including the paddle-shaped lone pair or p orbital pieces. 

However, it is slightly more expensive than the Dalton Labs Kit organic chemistry model, which may put some buyers off.

Both the atoms and the bonds are easy to connect and disconnect in these molecular model kit structures. 

The organic chemistry model kit gives you 115 atoms across eight different elements, which are the following: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, metal, phosphorus, chlorine, and sulfur. 

The box is quite durable, and it’s spacious enough to keep the pieces together after usage.

University Chemistry Co.



10. Atomic Architect

The Atomic Architect organic chemistry model is a 124-piece model set, which includes fifty-four atoms and seventy bonds. The conventional ball and sticks activity chemistry model kit is ideal for high school to graduate-level students.

The organic chemistry model kit gives you atom centers, bonds, and orbitals. The pieces are easy to connect and disconnect as well. For convenience, you’re getting a disassembly tool you can use to remove bonds. 

The pieces are color-coded as well to fit the universal standards. The organic chemistry model kit storage box is designed for grade-A construction and easy fit.

Atomic Architect



Why Should I Use This Kit?

Molecular model kits for chemistry make it easier to grasp organic chemistry, especially for students with no prior experience on the matter. 

Organic chemistry is different from general chemistry as it does not entail all math and equations. It’s similar to learning a new language, and learning the grammar of organic chemistry is highly dependent on how you understand molecular geometry, electron orbitals, and spatial orientation.

It enables you to visualize molecules in 3D, so it’s easier for students to understand the molecular structures better. (1)

Buying Guide

buying guide


An organic chemistry model kit isn’t expensive. Certain models offer a money-back guarantee if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck. 

You can find the best molecular model kits moderately priced. The fewer the pieces, the cheaper the models are. For premium kits with magnetic atoms, they are fewer but costs more. There are several chemistry sets for adults and science kits for teens that are affordable yet efficient. 


The best molecular model kits have sturdy plastic containers that make it easy for students and the professor to carry it around. Avoid purchasing molecular model kits for chemistry with boxes that do not close securely, as there’s a chance the pieces might fall off. 

If you’re looking for models for portability, choose chemistry kits with smaller atom pieces. You may also add a USB microscope to your collection. 

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If you’re a grade 7 student, you might not need to purchase chemistry models to build complex structures.

For a teacher, you may need to invest in larger chemistry kits that can satisfy classes. 

Make sure the atom parts are enough to build molecular structures for your students.

Also, pieces that are easy to connect and disconnect, so you may avoid buying the push-clip system chemistry kits.


Number of Pieces

Purchase a chemistry set and kit that caters to your needs. While a 120-piece might be cheaper, it may not have enough atom pieces.

If you’re a student in earlier grades, fewer pieces are enough for your organic chemistry subject. However, graduate-level should invest in a 300-piece or a 400-piece chemistry educational molecule model kit. We suggest you add a good pair of lab goggles to your purchase. 

Special Features

A molecular model kit for chemistry provides you with unique features, such as a convenient application to make it easier for your student to understand the molecular structures better. However, these are pricier than the conventional ones. You may opt for magnetic pieces as well for convenience. We also recommend picking a periodic table poster and a reliable Chemistry textbook for a deeper understanding. 

And Our #1 Choice for Organic Chemistry Model Kit is…

At the end of our research, the Dalton Labs molecular model kit comes up on top. It provides the best value among the other organic chemistry kits and fits the requirement of our buying guide.

It might be on the cheaper end, but it gives you a 200-piece kit with an option to upgrade to a kit with a higher number of pieces. Dalton Labs also delivers pieces that represent orbitals to develop your learning further.

The pieces are top-tier, and it comes with a sturdy case.

Dalton Labs

OUR # 1 Recommendation

Dalton Labs Molecular Model Kit

Best Chemistry Textbook

What’s the Best Chemistry Textbook? Our Recommended List

Whether you’re an instructor or a student, finding the best chemistry textbook may be a daunting task. Thus, planning for the next school year could be a wise decision for you. 

In this article, our team will help you make an informed decision in choosing the most suitable chemistry book for your particular course syllabus, including AP Chemistry. We spent 120 hours reading through these books to come up with the cream of the crop.


Chemistry: The Central Science

Chemistry: The Central Science


Chemistry: A Molecular Approach

Chemistry: A Molecular Approach


General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts

General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts

Top 7 Chemistry Textbooks

1. Chemistry: The Central Science

The Chemistry: The Central Science is one of the best chemistry textbooks that offer excellent quality at an affordable price tag. This is the 14th global edition of the best general chemistry textbook for students. 

This organic chemistry publication offers well-explained core concepts for chemistry, making students understand each topic better. It also shows practical applications that most students could apply in their everyday lives. 

We like how this organic chemistry publication also offers practice exercises that could help students understand the material/reference and improve their problem-solving abilities in chemistry. The Central Science book could get you through both semesters of general chemistry of university or college.

Chemistry: The Central Science



2. Chemistry: A Molecular Approach

The Chemistry: A Molecular Approach is a chemistry study guide that is an excellent choice for any chemistry high school syllabus. This textbook strengthens students’ ability and skills in the essential elements of data interpretation, team cooperation, and quant analysis detail.  

The Chemistry: A Molecular Approach also comprises exercises taken previously, during, or at a later activity. This book also provides an interactive and digital experience to students. It also comes with multi-level images that may help readers understand various chemistry concepts. 

Furthermore, The Chemistry: A Molecular Approach has concept tutorials explaining all challenging topics in a well-explained and well-detailed manner like Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change.

Chemistry: A Molecular Approach



3. General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts

The General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts is another best chemistry lesson guide on our list. This is the 7th edition of General Chemistry, which is essential for a one-year general chemistry syllabus. This book also features Dr. Chang and Dr. Goldsby’s concise but thorough approach for natural chemists in dealing with things regarding their environment. 

This chemistry publication strikes a balance between application and theory approach by incorporating real-world examples. It also features animations correlated to the text, conceptual idea review, and hand-sketched worked examples. 

This General Chem publication also helps students visualize the three-dimensional atomic and molecular nature of matter and its structures. It also develops their problem-solving and critical thinking skills regarding everyday activities and their natural environment.

General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts



4. General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications

The General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications is one of the best chemistry textbooks. It presents superior practice problems, precise argument, and detailed treatment of the subject through a lucid writing approach. This one is the 11th edition of the General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications.

This organic chemistry textbook also offers enhanced hallmark features such as revised discussions and innovations that respond to fundamental market needs. It also provides a detailed and modern treatment of organic chemistry foundation. 

This chemistry material aims to embrace the power of visual learning and conquer the trials of effective problem solving and assessment.

General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications



5. Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, Global Edition

The Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, Global Edition is another top chemistry loose-leaf on our list. It features almost the same content as the traditional text in a more convenient loose-leaf version. This book edition and format also offer a less expensive price tag than paperbacks and hardcovers.

This is the 13th The Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, Global Edition chemistry loose-leaf edition. It is ideal for those interested in learning anything about the allied health foundation. 

It also comes with a friendly presentation style, making it a perfect choice for high school students who don’t have prior knowledge or a foundation of chemistry.

Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, Global Edition



6. Introductory Chemistry Essentials (Mastering Chemistry)

The Introductory Chemistry Essentials (Mastering Chemistry) is a chemistry textbook ideal for one-semester courses in Preparatory Chemistry. It prepares high school students for success by building 21st-century problem-solving skills one could easily develop. 

The Introductory Chemistry Essentials (Mastering Chemistry) is on its 6th edition and has been encouraging chemistry students’ interest by showing how chemistry manifests in their daily lives. 

Nivaldo Tro is the author of The Introductory Chemistry Essentials (Mastering Chemistry). The author wants to draw upon his classroom experience as an award-winning instructor by providing a visual text for his learners.  

Introductory Chemistry Essentials (Mastering Chemistry)

The author wanted to extend chemistry from the laboratory directly to every student’s world. The author also aimed to capture student attention more using various relevant applications and an engaging writing style in The Introductory Chemistry Essentials (Mastering Chemistry) book. 

The author also presents real data in real-life situations such as cleaning, cooking, medicine, and the environment.



7. Chemistry For Dummies

The Chemistry For Dummies is a chemistry textbook ideal for students/readers who have little to almost no prior knowledge about General and Organic Chemistry. This book purposely uses everyday activities in presenting the ideas and concepts of chemistry step-by-step for beginners. 

The Chemistry For Dummies focuses on a fun and easy-to-grasp way of learning basic chemistry for beginners. The author of this book also tackles basic concepts of matter and energy, acids and bases, and atoms and molecules.  

The book’s author tracks a typical chemistry syllabus and provides time-saving tips from reliable chemistry professors. The Chemistry For Dummies also makes the periodic table, Quantum mechanics, and Quantum theory more approachable for beginners.

Chemistry For Dummies



Choosing A Book

Choosing A Book

Are You An Instructor? 

When choosing one chemistry book as an instructor/teacher, you should search for a book that would cover all the topics of the whole semester you are supposed to teach. Look into your curriculum or syllabus, and then make sure that the topics are the same. 

The book should be able to explain the complexity of topics in a relatable and understandable way. This way, you can easily cascade the learning experience and learning curve to your students. 

Are You A Student? 

If you are a student, you should search for high school chemistry textbook reviews to ensure that the book covers all the topics you need to learn for your semester.  

It should provide you multiple exercises and necessary tests that could help you understand the topics better step-by-step. The book must also have well-organized thoughts and various concepts ranging from simple to complex. We also recommend pairing your book with a solid organic chemistry model kit and a top-rated USB microscope for better visual learning.

Buying Guide for Chemistry Textbooks

buying guide

Writing Style 

As a buyer, it is essential to determine the style of the book you are about to buy. For chemistry or biochemistry books, the textbook’s tone and overall style should be in a formal tone. It should also comprise academic conventions, evidence-based, and thesis-driven. Our team also suggests looking for chemistry books that provide suitable complexity and higher-order thinking. If you’re looking for high school chemistry textbooks, check here


Quality is equally essential in considering any chemistry handbook to buy. The book’s overall quality could be associated with the exercises given in the book, the depth of each explanation, and the research and problems given. You may also consider the quality of how the book had been organized from cover to cover.

Simple Explanations 

Chemistry equations are challenging and are something a bit different from mathematical problems, pH scale, and equations. Therefore, the best chemistry publication should include an in-depth explanation while developing your understanding of the whole process. It should feature innovative ways to explain the core concepts to make students/readers understand the lessons easier.

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Sample Exercises

The sample exercises should also include exercises that provide higher-order thinking abilities like discussing atoms and molecules concepts. Higher-order thinking skills include cognitive processes used to comprehend, solve problems, and express concepts or describe abstract ideas that cannot be easily acted out, pointed to or shown with images. [1]

Textbook or Supplement?

You should also consider whether you want to use the best chemistry handbook as a necessary textbook in your chemistry class or just a supplementary book.

If you opt to find a necessary textbook, the book’s topics should cover all the chapters indicated in your course.

However, supplementary textbooks may or may not fully cover the topics, as they would only act as a supplementary option for your better understanding of the lessons. Check out our list of AP Chem review books



It would be best also to consider the price tag of the best chemistry books. If you are to use the books as a supplementary book, you may not want to spend too much. However, if the books are necessary and required, spending a little higher than supplementary books could be reasonable.

Beginner or Advanced Learner?

Being a beginner or an advanced learner may also affect your choice of buying the best chem book. They are most inclined to buy chemistry books that offer easier-to-understand chemistry concepts and formulas for beginners. On the other hand, advanced learners would definitely purchase books with a more advanced teaching strategy suitable for their level of prior knowledge. Find out what’s the best chemistry set for kids here

And the #1 Chemistry Textbook is...

Our team chooses The Chemistry: The Central Science as the #1 chemistry textbook based on extensive research. This is the 14th global edition of the best general chemistry textbook for students at an affordable price. It also offers well-explained core concepts for chemistry, making students understand each topic better. 

The Central Science chemistry textbook also offers practice questions and exercises to help more students understand the handbook and improve their problem-solving abilities in chemistry. The Central Science textbook also shows practical applications that most students could apply in their everyday lives.

Chemistry: The Central Science

OUR # 1 Recommendation

The Chemistry: The Central Science Highlights

How To Melt Silver With Borax

Melting Silver With Borax – Easy Steps You Can Try At Home

Unbeknownst to many, gold and silver aren’t only used for jewelry like sterling silver. It is also commonly used for industrial purposes, such as electronics for industrial machines. Now that people recycle almost everything, learning how to reuse silver may come in handy.

In this article, we will discuss the step-by-step guide on how to melt silver with borax.

Melting Silver with Borax in 8 Easy Steps

melting silver

1. Gather the Supplies You Need

First things first –  gather all the supplies you need to melt silver using borax. The first thing you need to grab is safety gear. You will also need a silver compound, an adequate quantity of borax, the crucible, soda, a pair of thongs, sodium nitrate, mold or cast, and a bowl of cold water. 

2. Wear Safety Gear 

Since you will be exposed to a few harmful materials in melting silver with borax as the flux, you need to protect yourself. Our team suggests that you wear masks and gloves, and other safety gear. 

We also recommend doing the whole process in a well-ventilated area inside your house. Or, if you have one extra space in your yard,  melting your silver or even gold outdoors is also an excellent idea.

3. Use a Furnace (if you have one)

This one step can only be done if you happen to own a furnace. Furnaces can have many uses, like giving you a source of heat needed. You can place the metal inside the furnace or take a crucible to start the process in such a case. With adequate amounts needed, place the silver chloride. Melting the silver chloride in the crucible is ideal. 

Our team suggests that you ensure that the container is large enough to hold the metals when it starts boiling, so the silver chloride won’t spill.   

However, if the silver chloride you want to melt is too large to be placed on a container, our team suggests breaking it into a smaller part or piece. This way, melting small amounts of it would be easier and safer. It would also hasten the melting process with ease.


4. Use a Blowtorch  

You can also utilize a blow torch in melting metal or even gold in the crucible. The melting time for metal depends on the size and its substance composition. A lot of torches don’t come with a melting temperature gauge, so you need to monitor the whole process and the torch until the metal starts melting. Check the surface from time to time. 

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5. Add the Mixture to the Crucible 

After which, mix the soda and boric acid with the proportion of 1:1 and add it into the crucible. For at least one kilogram of silver powders, about 500 grams of the mixture is somewhat sufficient to melt the metal. Keep on torching the piece of precious metal until it totally melts.  

You can also add sodium nitrate little by little until you finally see the metal. However, you need to be careful in using sodium nitrate because it is highly flammable. Any mishandling of the said substance can cause explosions and could harm your jewelry. Silver is almost as sensitive as gold.

6. Let the Silver Melt

Once the metal layer in the crucible is visible, you need to let the silver melt. Wait for some time until this layer boils under adequate heat from the torch.

Once it boils, stop the heat from the torch and utilize a graphite stir rod to get rid of the slag or scrap silver/metal layer from the molten metal.  

You have to get rid of the slag/scrap because it is the impurities that got melted along with the silver.

You have to remove any metal residues before proceeding to the next step for a finer jewelry finish and higher purity level. Of course, most people prioritize this step, like how they recycle gold or copper, too.

7. Pour the Molten Silver 

Use tongs to hold the crucible in pouring the molten silver. Pour the melted silver into the molds you have prepared while it is in liquid form. Again, ensure that you have already gotten rid of all the impurities before pouring the metal into the molds to provide a higher quality finish and get the desired shape and angle. You may also use a refining flux to get rid of any fineness marks.

8. Let the Molten Silver Set   

After pouring the melted silver with borax beads, let the substance sit on the mold for a while to let it completely sit. The amount of time you’d need depends on the type of mold or metal quantity. It could probably take at least 30 seconds up to two minutes.

When the metal has already settled, utilize the tongs to take it out from the mold. Submerge the molded silver in cold water so it’d cool down and harden. Quenching is a rapid way of bringing metal back to room temperature after heat treatment to prevent the cooling process from dramatically changing the metal’s microstructure. [1

Right after successfully molding the metal, silver soldering can be done as an option. You can form jewelry like most gold or anything you want to do with it.


Apart from gold, you can melt silver/metal in the comfort of your home. Precious metals can be melted using a lot of tools such as a blowtorch or even an ordinary microwave oven. You can also use a stand made of asbestos or any other temperature-resistant materials. Learning how to melt silver with borax as the flux to reduce the melting point is an excellent choice.

To remove borax from silver, you must know how to melt silver with borax first. You can use a rolling mill or a rock tumbler. Use it with a jeweler’s shot, a spot of dish soap, and a drop of vinegar. A lot of people even soak their silver/metal using vinegar alone.

So, How Do You Melt Silver with Borax?

There may be other ways to melt silver or gold. However, melting it with borax is easier, especially when you have the right tools. Boric acid in a well borax glazed container can remove the metal oxides from the silver/metal without affecting its purity. 

To do this process, you need to gather all the necessary tools like safety gear, gas torch pressure, or blowtorch. Mix the borax and soda, pour it into the crucible while the silver is torched. Keep torching the silver/metal until the borax melts it, and then pour it into the mold. In doing these steps, you’ll melt silver with borax even at the comfort of your home.


How To Find Chiral Centers

Identifying Chirality Centers – Steps & Techniques To Observe

In organic chemistry, a molecule possesses various properties, and one of them is chirality. It pertains to a carbon atom with four different ligands or substituents. Knowing this concept is fundamental to understanding isomers.  

Today, we will show you the steps on how to find chiral centers.

2 Steps to Follow When Looking for Chiral Centers in Molecules

chiral centers

1. Eliminate atoms that cannot be chiral centers. 

A chiral center is a stereocenter with an atom (usually carbons) attached to four nonidentical substituents. To spot potential chiral centers in a molecule, look for carbons connected to four different groups. 

Exclude the atoms that aren’t considered chiral centers. These include all straight-chain alkyl group carbons (CH 3 or CH 2 units) because they have two or more identical atoms (i.e., the hydrogens) connected to the carbons. Oxygen, halogens, and carbons on double or triple bonds can’t be chiral centers as they can’t have bonds to four different groups. 

Any molecule with chiral centers are mirror images of each other, but they are non-superimposable.

2. List out the groups or substituents.

List out the groups attached to the carbon atom. Look at the following examples.

The four groups attached to the carbon are CH3, H, Cl, and Br. They are all different groups. Therefore, this is a chiral center. 

The groups attached to this carbon atom are O, CH3, and H. There are only three groups. Therefore, it is not a chiral center. 

The four groups attached to this carbon atom are NH2, H, CH2CH2CHOH, and CH2CH2CHOH.

The last two groups are the same. Therefore, this is not a chiral center.


There seem to have two chiral centers or carbon atoms in this example, but the other carbon is attached to only three groups; therefore it is not chiral. For the second carbon, there are the four groups attached to the carbon atom: H, CH2, C, and Br. These are all different. Therefore, this is a chiral center. 

For a compound with more than one carbon atom, consider the orientation of the chiral molecules. They have the same molecular formula and property but differ in orientation. Lactic acid has two chiral centers that are identical but have no symmetry plane and aren’t superimposable.

What are Chiral Centers?

In Chemistry, chiral centers are tetrahedral atoms bonded to four different substituents. They are usually carbons. Other types of atoms that can be chiral are tertiary nitrogens, quaternary nitrogens, hypervalent phosphorus, and hypervalent sulfur. However, these chiral atoms are rare. 

A molecule or compound may have two chiral centers or more. Compounds with more than one chiral center are chiral but with the exception of Meso compounds. 

Chiral centers are considered enantiomers, which are non-superimposable types of stereoisomers. They have the same molecular formula and connectivity but differ in orientation. They are mirror images, but they cannot be put on top of each other and become the same molecule. Just like the right and the left hands, they are identical, but they cannot be superimposed.

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Why are Chiral Centers Important?

Many of our biological molecules, including our DNA, amino acids, neurotransmitters, and glucose, are chiral molecules.  

In making therapeutic drugs, the chiral center is crucial.[1] Different isomers in compounds cause different effects on the body.

One isomer of a chiral drug could treat a particular disease while others may be inactive or highly toxic. 

Take, for example, the drug thalidomide. It used to be prescribed for pregnant women with morning sickness.

One enantiomer is effective at alleviating symptoms, but the other enantiomer can cause serious birth defects.

chiracl center sample


A molecule is chiral if four different atoms are attached to a tetrahedral atom (usually carbons). A molecule may have two chiral centers or more. One example is lactic acid which has two chiral centers. The mirror image isn’t superimposable with the other image.

In organic chemistry, the feature that determines chirality is an asymmetric carbon atom in a molecule or compound. The mirror images or enantiomers of a chiral molecule cannot be superimposed with each other.

Determining Chiral Centers

Organic chemistry is a challenging course, but the concepts are highly relevant to our day-to-day lives. Some compounds have the same chemical formula and physical property but differ in structures and orientation in space (i.e., isomers). 

We have shown you the steps in identifying stereocenters in a compound. Identify the carbon atom with four different ligands, and then examine the orientation and plane of symmetry. 

You might have questions about the need to grasp these concepts. One good answer to that is helping us demystify why certain chemicals in foods or drugs can be both beneficial and toxic to our physical bodies.



Sulfur Tetrafluoride – Total Lone Pairs Of Electrons On Each S Atom

SF4 is known as the compound Sulfur Tetrafluoride – a colorless corrosive gas. SF4 is utilized in the synthesis of the organofluorine compound.

In molecular geometry and hybridization, how many lone pairs of electrons are on the s atom in SF4? Let’s find out!

Determining the Lone Pairs of Electrons on the SF4 S Atom

In the formation of SF4, the sulfur atom compound produces bonds with the fluorine where there are eight valence electrons. 

In SF4, the four fluorine atoms have three pairs of electrons in the octet, which uses twenty-four valence electrons. 

There are a total of thirty-four valence electrons. These valence electrons are for covalent bonding. 

Two electrons are lone pair in SF4. You can determine the SF4 hybridization of sulfur compounds by considering the regions of the electron density.

When there is bonding, there is a formation of four single bonds in four single bonds in SF4, and it only carries one lone pair. 

Sulfur is in the central atom. The central atom and the sulfur compound have a pair of electrons.

sf4 img

Factors to Consider


Molecular Geometry 

In SF4 molecular geometry, the molecular formula helps you to know the precise number and the type of atoms present in the specified compound. 

There is a sulfur atom and four fluorine atoms in its compound, making it the same as the formula of the AX4E in SF4 molecular geometry.   

The molecules having the formula of AX4E have the trigonal bipyramidal molecular geometry positions. Two fluorine atoms forming bonds with the sulfur atom are in the equatorial position. Meanwhile, the two are in the axial position in molecular geometry opposing the fluorine atoms.  

When the central atom carries one or more pairs of electrons, the geometries of molecules change.


To find out the SF4 molecule’s hybridization, you have to consider the regions of the electron density of the central atom. 

For hybridization, the Sulfur compound has four bonding pairs of electrons. It also has one lone pair. The sulfur atom utilizes five hybridized orbital, a 3s orbital, three 3p orbitals, and a 3D orbital.   

The following arrangement of the electrons around them and the hybridized orbitals leads up to the sp3d hybridization. You can utilize the steric number as well for hybridization.

5 is the steric number for the sulfur atom.


Lewis Structure

Lewis Structure is a pictorial representation of bonds and the number of valence electrons in the molecule. 

The number of valence electrons participating in forming bonds is known as the bonding pairs of electrons in the Lewis Structure. 

Meanwhile, the electrons that do not participate are known as nonbonding pairs of electrons in the Lewis Structure.

In the Lewis structure of SF4, you need the total number of valence electrons in the molecule. There is a sulfur atom in the compound and four fluorine atoms. 

To find out the total valence electrons of the compound, you need to know the valence electrons of the atoms individually in the Lewis Structure.

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Bond Angles & Shape

Central sulfur atoms have four bond formations with the nearby fluorine atoms.

It has one lone pair of electrons. Fluorine atoms that are in the equatorial positions have bond angles of 102 degrees. 

Meanwhile, the axial ones are 173 degrees, which are slightly different from the trigonal bipyramidal molecular geometry that leads to a see-saw shape.

The lone pair of electrons in the central atom that leads to the changing of the bond angle. It’s from the bond angles of 120 to 102 degrees for the equatorial fluorine atoms.

What’s more, 173 degrees instead of 180 degrees for the axial fluorine atoms.

bond angle and shape


Once you know the Lewis Structure and molecular geometry of specific compounds, it is easier to see the polarity of the molecule. 

One lone pair in the central sulfur atom compound and the four bonding pairs of electrons can lead to the asymmetric distribution of electrons on the central atom. 

The shape of the molecule appears like a see-saw. Two fluorine atoms are able to cancel each other in their dipole moment. However, the rest of the fluorine atoms cannot do it in their dipole moment because of the arrangement of the electron. 

SF4 Applications

SF4 is used in making the water as well as oil repellent material. The fluorinating agent is also for making pesticides and lubricity enhancers. 

SF4 is highly toxic through inhalation, and it irritates the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. (1) The SF4 reacts intensely with water and acids as it yields toxic fluoride and sulfur oxide fumes. It is an acidic solution.

How To Identify the Number of Electron Lone Pairs on the S Atom in S4

SF4 has the central atom S attached to the four atoms through the four single bonds. It uses the four valence electrons and the remaining two valence electrons that remain one lone electron pair. In other words, it means that the SF4 S atom has one lone electron pair. 

Keep in mind you need to know the number of valence electrons first, Lewis structure, molecular geometry, bond formation, and other properties. There are eight of the thirty-four valence electrons utilized in a covalent bonding pair. It leaves the rest of the valence electrons behind. 

Through this, you will understand the properties and the model better for sulfur tetrafluoride.



Lewis Structure – Number of Lone Pairs in Sulfur Explained

Sulfur is used for making gunpowder, matches, fireworks, insecticides, and fumigants. Elemental sulfur is also for the treatment of some skin diseases. The principal use of sulfur can be found in the preparation of compounds. 

When it comes to organic chemistry, specifically the Lewis Structure, how many lone pairs does sulfur have? Find the answer below. 

Determining the Number of Lone Pairs in Sulfur

The sharing of electrons allows atoms to stick together. It is the basis of covalent bonding. Some are intermediate distant, which is longer than 0.1 nm. 

If you prefer 100 pm, it is where the attractive forces surpass the repulsive forces. A formation of a bond if the atoms can achieve complete s2np6 configuration.

It is this specific behavior that Lewis captured in the octet rule. You need the valence electron configuration of a constituent atom of the covalent compound. 

These are essential factors to determine the structure, stoichiometry, and properties.

pair sulfur

Identifying Lone Pairs in a Molecule

The bond pairs are a pair of electrons. One is from the central atom while one is with the atom, which is known as bonding. It participates in the bonding of the atom. 

Meanwhile, lone pairs are the pairs of the electron in an atom that do not take part in the bonding of the two atoms.

To identify the lone pairs in the molecule, you have to figure out the number of valence electrons in an atom. Next, you have to deduct the number of electrons that took part in the bonding. 

You have to keep in mind that the lone pairs are pairs. Therefore, if you can find one free electron that isn’t participating, it means the compound is a charge.

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Using the Lewis Structure

You need to determine the valence electrons per atom. You add them together with the total number of electrons basing on the overall species charge. It can either gain or lose numbers.

After which, you determine its central atom, which is the least electronegative element. You draw the single bonds that are between the central and terminal atoms.

Subtract the electrons in forming the bonds from the first step while keeping in mind that a single bond is composed of two electrons.

Around the terminal atoms, you distribute the line pairs, so they are following an octet. Subtract the number of electrons from the number you have obtained.

Put the remaining electrons in its central atom. Then, you see if it’s possible to reduce formal charges. The structure that gives you the smallest charges in magnitude is what you call the Lewis Structure.


Using the VSEPR Theory to Determine Sulfur’s Lone Pairs

Using the VSEPR model, you can predict the structure of most molecules or polyatomic ions, which means the central atom is a nonmetal. 

It includes structures of plenty of molecules and polyatomic ions that have central metal atoms. 

The electron pairs are in bonds. Meanwhile, the lone pairs repel from each other. In other words, it adopts the geometry that puts the electron pairs far from each other as much as possible.

It is a simplistic theory, and it can’t account for the subtleties of the orbital interactions that influence the molecular shapes (1). 

On the other hand, the counting procedure can accurately predict the 3D structures of a massive number of compounds.

So, How Do You Identify the Number of Lone Pairs in Sulfur?

The sulfur atom shares a bonding pair and three lone pairs. In total, it has six valence electrons. 

To keep it simple: you can identify the number of lone pairs in sulfur by following these steps.

  • Arrange the atoms to show specific connections.
  • Determining the total number of valence electrons 
  • Put a bonding pair of electrons between each pair of the adjacent atoms 
  • Add enough electrons to each atom 
  • If any electrons are left over, place them on the central atom.