back to 'Caffeine and the Laboratory' homepage

So what is Caffeine?

Caffeine is composed entirely of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, with the general formula C8H10N4O2. To give us chemists a better description of what this molecule is really like, there are several names. The most common name is 1,3,7 - trimethylxanthine, which is useful is considering caffeine's relationship to the other xanthines (see methylated xanthines). Other names include
  By far the best way to understand a molecule, though, is to look at a model. The red balls are oxygen, white is hydrogen, blue is nitrogen and the green balls are carbon.

Molecular structures: top - created using ChemWeb software
                                bottom - used without permission from

back to top

back to 'Caffeine and the Laboratory' homepage

Simon Tilling - Caffeine