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. Enantiomers represent non-superimposable mirror images of a molecule. On the other hand, diastereomers represent non-superimposable non-mirror images of a molecule. Given below in a tabular column are the differences between diastereomers and enantiomers.

Enantiomers vs Diastereomers

Enantiomers Diastereomers
Enantiomers are a pair of molecules that exist in two forms that are mirror images of one another but cannot be superimposed one upon the other. Diastereomers are defined as compounds with the same molecular formula and sequence of bonded elements but are non-superimposable non-mirror images.
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

Enantiomer and Diastereomer


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.

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Enantiomers and Diastereomers

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