Solvolysis of Tertiary and Secondary Haloalkanes7-1
The rate of S
2 reactions decrease dramatically as the reaction centerchanges from primary to secondary to tertiary.This is true only for bimolecular substitution.Secondary and tertiary halides can be substituted, however, themechanism is different.Consider the reaction of 2-bromo-2-methylpropane and water.When a substrate undergoes substitution by the solvent, the process iscalledsolvolysis. If the solvent is water, the process ishydrolysis.
Water is the nucleophile, even though its nucleophilic capacity is low.