What Is Anti Markovnikov Rule?

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In the realm of organic chemistry, the Anti-Markovnikov rule serves as a guiding principle that helps predict the outcome of certain addition reactions. Named after Russian chemist Vladimir Markovnikov, who proposed the original rule, the Anti-Markovnikov rule states that under specific conditions, the addition of a hydrogen halide to an unsymmetrical alkene results in the formation of a product with the halogen atom attached to the less substituted carbon. In this blog, we will delve into the concept of the Anti-Markovnikov rule, its significance, and its implications in organic synthesis.

What Is Anti Markovnikov Rule?

Before diving into the Anti-Markovnikov rule, it is essential to understand its counterpart, the Markovnikov rule. The Markovnikov rule states that when a hydrogen halide is added to an unsymmetrical alkene, the hydrogen atom attaches to the carbon atom with the greater number of hydrogen atoms (the more substituted carbon), while the halogen atom attaches to the less substituted carbon.

The Anti-Markovnikov Rule:

The Anti-Markovnikov rule contradicts the Markovnikov rule in certain reaction conditions. It states that in the presence of specific reagents or catalysts, the hydrogen atom attaches to the less substituted carbon, while the halogen atom attaches to the more substituted carbon.

Reaction Mechanism:

The Anti-Markovnikov rule is observed in reactions involving radical intermediates. In the presence of peroxides, such as H2O2 or ROOH, or other radical initiators, the reaction proceeds via a radical mechanism, leading to the formation of the Anti-Markovnikov product. The peroxides or radical initiators generate highly reactive free radicals that initiate the reaction and dictate the regioselectivity.

Significance In Organic Synthesis:

The Anti-Markovnikov rule has significant implications in organic synthesis, allowing chemists to selectively control the regiochemistry of addition reactions. By applying the Anti-Markovnikov rule, chemists can access specific products that are otherwise challenging to obtain using traditional reaction conditions. This rule opens up new avenues for the synthesis of a wide range of compounds, including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and fine chemicals.


  1. Hydroboration-Oxidation Reaction: One of the most notable applications of the Anti-Markovnikov rule is observed in the hydroboration-oxidation reaction. The addition of borane (BH3) or boron-containing reagents to an alkene, followed by oxidation, leads to the Anti-Markovnikov product. This process is valuable in the synthesis of alcohols, which are crucial building blocks in organic chemistry.
  2. Radical Reactions: The Anti-Markovnikov rule is often employed in radical reactions, such as the addition of HBr to alkenes in the presence of peroxides or radical initiators. This allows for the selective formation of Anti-Markovnikov products, providing access to a diverse range of functionalized compounds.
  3. Synthetic Strategies: The Anti-Markovnikov rule broadens the synthetic toolbox for chemists, enabling the construction of complex molecules with specific regioselectivity. It allows for the incorporation of functional groups at desired positions, facilitating the synthesis of natural products, pharmaceuticals, and advanced materials.


The Anti-Markovnikov rule serves as a fundamental principle in organic chemistry, guiding chemists in predicting regioselectivity in certain addition reactions. It provides valuable insights into reaction pathways, facilitating the synthesis of diverse compounds with specific functional group arrangements. By understanding and applying the Anti-Markovnikov rule, researchers can harness its power to design innovative synthetic strategies, contributing to advancements in the fields of pharmaceuticals, materials science, and chemical synthesis.

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What Is The Anti Markovnikov Rule In Simple Terms?

The Anti-Markovnikov rule defines regiochemistry in which the substituent is bound to a less substituted carbon rather than the more substituted carbon. Because substituted carbocation allows for more hyperconjugation, the carbocation becomes more stable.

What Are The Examples Of Anti Markovnikov’s Rule?

Some of the examples of the Anti-Markovnikov rule are Primary carbon (least substituted), Secondary carbon (medium substituted), and Tertiary carbon (most substituted). Anti-Markovnikov Radical addition of Haloalkane will only happen to HBr, and Hydrogen Peroxide ( H2O2) MUST be there.

What Is Markownikoff And Anti Markovnikov Rule?

Abstract. The Markownikoff or Markovnikov rule assigns the orientation of the electrophilic addition of hydrogen halides to asymmetrical alkenes or alkynes in which hydrogen itself attaches to the least-substituted carbon atom in a double bond (or triple bond).

Which Is Correct About Anti Markovnikov Rule?

Anti-Markovnikov’s rule is also known as Kharasch effect or Peroxide effect. The peroxide effect is only observed with $HBr$ and not with $HCl$, $HI$. Therefore, from above we can say that option B is the correct option to the given question.


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