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Pericyclic Reactions

Second Edition

Ian Fleming

Publication Date - June 2015

ISBN: 9780199680900

128 pages
9.7 x 7.4 inches

In Stock


Pericyclic reactions constitute a major strand of organic chemistry, including such commercially important synthetic reactions as the Diels-Alder reaction. Reactions such as these are characterised by their predictable stereochemistry and cyclic transition structures. This primer reviews these reactions in order to explain their theoretical basis via correlation diagrams. It also shows students how to recognize the different types of pericyclic reaction, their mechanisms, and their applications to organic synthesis.

The text is part of the renowned Oxford Chemistry Primer series, which provides focused introductions to a range of important topics in chemistry. The series has been refreshed and updated to suit the needs of today's students and instructors. The rigorous, yet accessible, the texts include cutting-edge examples and relevant applications.

Pedagogical features provided in the primers--including questions at the end of every chapter, diagrams, margin notes, suggestions for further reading, and an expansive glossary--encourage active learning and promote understanding.


  • A focused introduction designed to give students an in-depth understanding of pericyclic reactions
  • Vibrant examples help students to see the relevance of the subject to current research and industry
  • Frequent diagrams, margin notes, and glossary definitions support students in their learning
  • Questions at the end of every chapter and interactive online questions encourage active learning and promote deeper understanding

About the Author(s)

Ian Fleming is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. He studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge, obtaining his PhD in 1962 in the University Chemical Laboratory supervised by Dr John Harley-Mason. After a year of independent research as a Research Fellow in Pembroke College, he spent a postdoctoral year at Harvard (1963-1964) with Professor R. B. Woodward, before returning to Cambridge, where he was successively Assistant Director of Research, Lecturer, Reader, and Professor of Organic Chemistry. In 1993 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his work on the application of organosilicon chemistry to solving problems of regiocontrol and stereocontrol in organic synthesis. He formally retired from research in 2002, but remains active in writing and teaching.

Previous Publication Date(s)

November 2008

Table of Contents

    1. The nature of pericyclic reactions
    2. Cycloaddition reactions
    3. The Woodward-Hoffmann rules and molecular orbitals
    4. Electrocyclic reactions
    5. Sigmatropic rearrangements
    6. Group transfer reactions

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