Difference Between Enantiomers and Diastereomers

Isomers are grouped into two categories known as stereoisomers and structural isomers. Structural isomers have the same molecular formula but are different in their bond connection and order. Stereoisomers, on the other hand, differ in the spatial arrangement of their structures.

Further, the stereoisomers are divided into Enantiomers and Diastereomers. The main difference between enantiomers and diastereomers is that the former is found as mirror images while the latter isn’t. Given below in a tabular column are the differences between diastereomers and enantiomers.

Enantiomers vs Diastereomers

Enantiomers Diastereomers
Enantiomers are stereoisomers that are mirror images of each other Diastereomers are stereoisomers that aren’t a mirror image of each other
Have identical physical properties except for the ability to rotate plane-polarised light Distinct physical properties
Present in pairs There can be several molecules
Similar molecular shape Different molecular shape

Conclusion

Among structural isomers and stereoisomers, stereoisomers are optical active due to their presence of chiral centres. The main difference between diastereomers and enantiomers is that the former is not a mirror image but the latter is a mirror image. Learn more differences like the difference between an atom and a molecule at BYJU’S.

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