Organic chemistry is a chemistry subdiscipline involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and organic materials, i.e., matter in its various forms that contain carbon atoms. Study of structure includes using spectroscopy and other physical and chemical methods to determine the chemical composition and constitution of organic compounds and materials. Study of properties includes both physical properties and chemical properties, and uses similar methods as well as methods to evaluate chemical reactivity, with the aim to understand the behavior of the organic matter in its pure form (when possible), but also in solutions, mixtures, and fabricated forms. The study of organic reactions includes both their preparation—by synthesis or by other means—as well as their subsequent reactivities, both in the laboratory and via theoretical (in silico) study.
The range of chemicals studied in organic chemistry include hydrocarbons, compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen, as well as compositions based on carbon but containing other elements. Organic chemistry overlaps with many areas including medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, organometallic chemistry, and polymer chemistry, as well as many aspects of materials science.