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An ether is an organic compound that contains two alkyl or aryl groups by an oxygen atom. The general formula for an ether is R-O-R'. The compound diethyl ether is commonly known as ether.
Examples of compound which are ethers include:
- Pentabromodiphenyl ether
- Diisopropyl ether
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
- Ethylene oxide
- Because ether molecules are unable to form hydrogen bonds with each other, they have relatively low boiling points.
- Ethers are slightly polar because the C-O-C bond angle is around 110° and the C-O dipoles do not cancel each other out.
- Ethers are highly volatile.
- The compounds are flammable.
- Simple ethers have no flavor.
- Ethers act as excellent organic solvents.
- Lower ethers act as anesthetics.
- IUPAC (1997). Compendium of Chemical Terminology (2nd ed.) (the "Gold Book"). doi:10.1351/goldbook.E02221