Molecular models are an essential tool for learning organic chemistry. The models used to teach important concepts are fairly simple but can be time-consuming to build. Especially if you have to do it repeatedly. Indigo AtoMag™ magnetic molecular models are an inexpensive way to save precious time.

 IUPAC Nomenclature Made Easy

Learning IUPAC nomenclature is an important part of organic chemistry and naming alkanes is invariably the place to start. However, building molecules from methane to hexane and all the isomers in between is time-consuming. Indigo AtoMag™ magnetic molecular models let you build these structures in seconds rather than minutes.

Teaching a class or running a tutorial? Time is money and these models will pay for themselves the first time you use them.

Best Cyclohexane Model Ever!

The naming alkanes video ends with cyclohexane and chair boat-flips.  The following video shows cyclohexane with added hydrogens and halogens to show the steric hindrance encountered in the boat and twist boat conformations.

Indigo AtoMag™ cyclohexane magnetic molecular models are compelling tools because you can actually feel the stablest/lowest energy state of the chair conformation. It takes noticeably more force to move it away from the chair into the boat-twist conformations.

If you are not an organic chemist or do not teach it, think of it as a unique chemist’s fidget toy. Bring one with you to departmental meetings. When they drag on too long, channel your inner Captain Queeg1  & see if you can do a one-handed chair boat flip and boat-twists.

6 Important Functional Groups

There are typically 20 different functional groups associated with organic compounds. Among these are 6 functional groups that involve oxygen and are considered of prime importance also to biochemistry. These are the alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, esters, ethers, and ketones.

The differences between these are subtle and may be hard to discern for beginners especially if they are using wireframe type molecular models. Indigo AtoMag™ magnetic molecular models let you or the student quickly switch functional groups and add methyl groups to teach IUPAC at the same time.

Note (1): Functional Groups 1 is an add-on to the basic AtoMag 6 carbon alkanes set.

Note (2):Functional Group 1 & 101 are the same thing. 101 is used in the vernacular sense of being the most basic>


Branched Chain Alkanes

This is an older video that covers some of the same ground as the alkane video but ends with a 20 carbon long model. This shows the incomparable strength of Indigo AtoMag™ and how well even an elongated model sticks together. You can hold the molecule at one end and swing it around to demonstrate how such molecules move in the real world.

(Note: The video was based on our original alkanes set which had more carbons. We reduced it to 6 carbon atoms to make it more economical.)


Visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to keep up with the latest videos:


Cultural Reference Video Clip

For those who don’t get the reference, Humphrey Bogart plays Capt. Queeg in The Caine Mutiny, 1954.  This scene is towards the end of the movie and you can’t see the 2 large steel ball bearings he is holding in this clip. They make their appearance earlier in the movie.

If you do magic, you certainly have the manual dexterity for one-handed manipulation of our magnetic cyclohexane model. Send us your videos!