The ring flipping conformational change in cyclohexane interconverts equatorial and axial positions on the ring, thus placing equatorial and axial substituents in equilibrium with each other.

In general, the position of the equilibrium strongly favors the equatorial conformers.

In the Java windows below, orient the molecules so you can look along the bonds between the carbon bearing the methyl group and one of the adjacent carbons.

  • You should see one gauche interaction when you look down the left-hand bond and another when you look down the right-hand bond

Equatorial Axial

If you use the button to make the model spacefilling, you can see the Hs of the methyl mashed up against the Hs on the carbons 3- and 5-.

Here is (1,1-dimethylethyl)cyclohexane. See how distored the ring is, flattened at one end to allow the big group to tilt away from the hydrogens of carbons 3- and 5-.


This page last modified 10:30 AM on Sunday September 15th, 2013.
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