Alkanes and Cycloalkanes - What are the Conformations of Alkanes and Cycloalkanes?

10 important questions on Alkanes and Cycloalkanes - What are the Conformations of Alkanes and Cycloalkanes?

What are Newman projections?

The Newman projection is a way of visualizing the spatial conformation of two single bonded carbons and their covalently bonded groups.

What is the difference between a staggered and an eclipsed conformation?

In a staggered conformation all groups are oriented away from each other as far as possible. In an eclipsed conformation the side groups of both carbons are in the same direction.

What is torsional strain?

Torsional strain is also called eclipsed interaction strain and arises from the steric hindrance of atoms that are three bonds away.

What is angle strain?

When a bond angle is either larger or smaller than the optimal value strain arises. This is angle strain.

What kind of strain does cyclopentane experience?

Cyclopentane has bond angles that are almost the same as in a tetrahedral so there is no angle strain.
All the carbons are configured in an eclipsed way though creating torsional strain.

What is the effect of the strain experienced by a planar cyclopentane?

The planar cyclopentane will twist into the "envelope" conformation. Thereby reducing the number of eclipsed hydrogens.
The C-C-C bond angles are reduced, which increases the angle strain.

What is the most stable formation for cyclohexane?

The chair conformation.

What is the advantage of the chair conformation?

The hydrogen atoms alternate upwards and downwards in the equatorial bonds but also in the axial bonds.

What is the boat conformation?

It is an other conformation of cyclohexane, but with more steric strain than the chair conformation.

What are diaxial interactions?

Diaxial or axial-axial interactions is a type of steric strain that exists between axial substituents on the same side of the ring.

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