Types of peroxides, from top to bottom: peroxide ion, organic peroxide, organic hydroperoxide, peracid. The peroxide group is marked in blue. R, R1 and R2 mark hydrocarbon moieties.

In chemistry, peroxides are a group of compounds with the structure R−O−O−R, where R is any element.[1][2] The O−O group in a peroxide is called the peroxide group or peroxy group (sometimes called peroxo group or peroxyl group). The nomenclature is somewhat variable,[3] and the term was introduced by Thomas Thomson in 1804 for an oxide with the greatest quantity of oxygen.[4]

The most common peroxide is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), colloquially known simply as "peroxide". It is marketed as solutions in water at various concentrations. Many organic peroxides are known as well.

O−O bond length = 147.4 pm O−H bond length = 95.0 pm
Structure and dimensions of H2O2 in gas phase.

In addition to hydrogen peroxide, some other major classes of peroxides are:


  1. ^ Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-08-037941-8.
  2. ^ Smith, Michael B.; March, Jerry (2007), Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms, and Structure (6th ed.), New York: Wiley-Interscience, ISBN 978-0-471-72091-1
  3. ^ IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version: (2006–) "peroxides". doi:10.1351/goldbook.P04510
  4. ^ Harper, Douglas. "peroxide". Online Etymology Dictionary.