You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Aromatic Chemistry

3. Resonance Structures of Benzene

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this mini-lecture we begin to resolve the issues with Kekulé’s benzene proposed in Lecture 2. With slight modifications, Kekulé’s structure holds true. We learn that the way benzene exists in nature through its resonance structures resolves these issues. How then is the electron transfer between its resonance structure enabled by its structure? We learn that particular aspects of the structure of benzene lets certain p-orbitals of carbon interact with each other, giving rise to aromaticity.


In this course Dr Danny Allwood (Sheffield Hallam University) about a unique type of organic molecule: aromatic compounds. There are countless examples of aromatic compounds used in medicine, biotechnology, dyes, explosives and many other areas where chemicals are used. Therefore, understanding what aromaticity is and how it can affect a chemical reaction is extremely important. We begin by (i) looking at benzene, which for a long time had a known chemical formula (C6H6) but an unknown structure; (ii) focusing on Kekulé’s structure and discussing the problems with this theory; (iii) then moving on to look at how benzene exists in nature, and how this enables its aromaticity; (iv) then using this knowledge, understanding how molecules of benzene react, compared with known reactions of substitution; (v) and finally looking at how the addition of functional groups affects the reactivity of specific positions.


Dr Danny Allwood joined Sheffield Hallam University from the University of Cambridge, where he undertook a PhD (2008-2012) and post-doctoral research (2012-2015) with Professor Steven V. Ley CBE FRS. Prior to this, he attained my undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick (2004-2008). His current research programme is focused on the development of practical synthetic and catalytic organic transformations.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Allwood, D. (2022, January 17). Aromatic Chemistry - Resonance Structures of Benzene [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Allwood, Danny. "Aromatic Chemistry – Resonance Structures of Benzene." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Jan 2022,

Get instant access to over 4,000 lectures