What is the difference between Sn1 and Sn2 reactions?
SN1 and SN2 are both nucleophilic substitution reactions, there are some differences:
- For SN1 reactions, the step determining the rate is unimolecular, whereas for a SN2 reaction, it is bimolecular.
- SN1 is a two-step mechanism, whereas SN2 is only a one-step process.
- During SN1 reactions, the carbocation will form as an intermediate, whereas, during SN2 reactions, it is not formed.
- In SN2 reactions, one can draw the intermediate structure of where the carbon has a partial bond with the incoming nucleophile and the leaving group, whereas this is not possible in SN1 pathway reactions.