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Sulfone vs. Sulfoxide: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 17, 2024
Sulfones contain a sulfur atom bonded to two oxygen atoms and two carbon atoms, whereas sulfoxides have a sulfur atom bonded to one oxygen atom and two carbon atoms.

Key Differences

Sulfones and sulfoxides are both organic sulfur compounds. Sulfones are characterized by a sulfur atom doubly bonded to two oxygen atoms and singly bonded to two carbon atoms. In contrast, sulfoxides feature a sulfur atom bonded to one oxygen atom via a double bond and two carbon atoms via single bonds.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024
The chemical stability of sulfones is generally higher than that of sulfoxides. This is due to the double bonds with oxygen in sulfones, which make them less reactive. Sulfoxides, with their single double bond to oxygen, are comparatively more reactive.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024
Sulfones are often used in various industrial applications, including as solvents and in pharmaceuticals, owing to their stability. Sulfoxides, however, are more frequently used in organic synthesis as they can act as ligands or intermediates due to their reactivity.
Huma Saeed
Jan 17, 2024
In terms of solubility, sulfones tend to be more soluble in polar solvents compared to sulfoxides. This difference in solubility can be attributed to the distinct electronic structures of these compounds.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024
The synthesis methods for sulfones usually involve oxidation reactions, while sulfoxides are typically formed through the oxidation of sulfides. This difference in synthesis reflects the unique chemical properties of each compound.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 17, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Oxygen Bonding

Double bonded to two oxygen atoms
Double bonded to one oxygen atom
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Reactivity

Less reactive due to double oxygen bonds
More reactive due to single oxygen bond
Huma Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Industrial Applications

Used in solvents, pharmaceuticals
Used in organic synthesis, ligands
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Solubility

More soluble in polar solvents
Less soluble compared to sulfones
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Synthesis Method

Typically through oxidation reactions
Formed by oxidizing sulfides
Aimie Carlson
Jan 17, 2024
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Sulfone and Sulfoxide Definitions

Sulfone

A stable chemical group in pharmaceuticals and solvents.
Sulfone polymers are known for their thermal and oxidative stability.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfoxide

A sulfur-containing organic compound with one oxygen atom double bonded to sulfur.
Dimethyl sulfoxide is a popular sulfoxide solvent in chemical reactions.
Huma Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfone

A sulfur-containing organic compound with two oxygen atoms double bonded to sulfur.
Dimethyl sulfone is a sulfone used in some dietary supplements.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfoxide

A compound involved in the oxidation of sulfides.
The conversion of sulfides to sulfoxides is a common reaction in organic synthesis.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfone

A compound used in the synthesis of various drugs.
Dapsone, a sulfone, is commonly used in the treatment of leprosy.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfoxide

A functional group in chemical synthesis and pharmaceuticals.
Sulfoxides play a crucial role in the synthesis of certain drugs.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfone

A chemical moiety used in high-performance plastics.
Sulfone-based plastics exhibit excellent toughness and stability.
Harlon Moss
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfoxide

A reagent in organic chemistry known for its polar character.
Sulfoxides are often used to increase the polarity of a substance.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfone

A group in organic chemistry characterized by a sulfur atom bonded to two oxygens and two carbons.
In the sulfone group, the sulfur atom is tetrahedral in shape.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfoxide

A chemical group characterized by a sulfur atom bonded to an oxygen and two carbons.
In sulfoxides, the sulfur atom has a pyramidal geometry.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Sulfone

Any of various organic sulfur compounds having a sulfonyl group attached to two carbon atoms.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 20, 2023

Sulfoxide

Any of various organic compounds that contain a sulfinyl group.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 20, 2023

Sulfone

(organic chemistry) Any of a class of organic compounds that have a sulfonyl functional group attached to two carbon atoms; drugs of this structure have been used to treat leprosy.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 20, 2023

Sulfoxide

A sweet-smelling viscous yellow oil, C18H28O3S, used as a synergistic insecticide.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 20, 2023

Sulfoxide

(organic chemistry) Any compound of general formula R2S=O.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 20, 2023

FAQs

What are sulfones?

Sulfones are organic sulfur compounds with a sulfur atom doubly bonded to two oxygen atoms.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

How are sulfoxides formed?

Sulfoxides are formed by oxidizing sulfides.
Janet White
Jan 17, 2024

Are sulfones stable?

Yes, sulfones are chemically stable due to their structure.
Janet White
Jan 17, 2024

Can sulfones be used as solvents?

Yes, some sulfones are used as solvents due to their stability.
Harlon Moss
Jan 17, 2024

What is the reactivity of sulfones compared to sulfoxides?

Sulfones are less reactive than sulfoxides due to their double oxygen bonds.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 17, 2024

What are sulfoxides?

Sulfoxides are organic sulfur compounds with a sulfur atom bonded to one oxygen atom via a double bond.
Huma Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

How are sulfones synthesized?

Sulfones are typically synthesized through oxidation reactions.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Are sulfoxides used in organic synthesis?

Yes, sulfoxides are frequently used in organic synthesis due to their reactivity.
Harlon Moss
Jan 17, 2024

Is the solubility of sulfones and sulfoxides different?

Yes, sulfones are generally more soluble in polar solvents than sulfoxides.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Can sulfoxides be used as ligands in reactions?

Yes, sulfoxides can act as ligands in certain chemical reactions.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 17, 2024

What is a common use of sulfoxides?

Sulfoxides are commonly used as intermediates in chemical reactions.
Harlon Moss
Jan 17, 2024

What kind of geometry does the sulfur atom in a sulfone have?

In sulfones, the sulfur atom typically has a tetrahedral geometry.
Harlon Moss
Jan 17, 2024

Are sulfones used in plastic production?

Yes, certain high-performance plastics are made using sulfone groups.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Can sulfoxides be converted back to sulfides?

Yes, sulfoxides can be reduced back to sulfides under certain conditions.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

What is the geometry of sulfur in sulfoxides?

The sulfur atom in sulfoxides usually has a pyramidal geometry.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 17, 2024

Do sulfones react easily?

No, sulfones are less reactive due to their double bonds with oxygen.
Harlon Moss
Jan 17, 2024

Do sulfones have pharmaceutical applications?

Yes, sulfones are used in the synthesis of various drugs.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 17, 2024

Are sulfoxides polar compounds?

Yes, sulfoxides are polar due to their functional group.
Harlon Moss
Jan 17, 2024

What makes sulfoxides reactive?

The single double bond to oxygen in sulfoxides contributes to their reactivity.
Harlon Moss
Jan 17, 2024

Are sulfones and sulfoxides found in nature?

Some sulfones and sulfoxides can be found in nature, but many are synthetically produced.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 17, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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