What Are Halogens?

The halogens are a family of chemical elements that comprise an entire column of the periodic table. The most commonly found halogens in organic compounds are fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine. The elements in group 17, which are non- metals, are also known as the halogens. The word “halogen” has a Greek origin meaning “salt-producing.” Halogens are called so because they react with metals to produce salts.

Halogen atoms in organic compounds can typically be found at the periphery of molecules. For this reason, they are ideally positioned to be involved in intermolecular interactions. Indeed, halogen atoms are frequently involved in a wide variety of non-covalent interactions which can be remarkably different regarding their energetic and geometric features.

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