This module is about factors that determine the stability of a conformation. Knowledge of these factors enables one to make predictions about the most probable conformation of a molecule.
This will involve the following steps:
We know that for cyclohexane
the chair conformation is the most stable one.
And we'll see
that there are several chair conformations, separated by a relatively small
energy barrier. The interconversion process can be described in short as:
Moving one carbon down, flattening part of the ring,
moving it further to the other side of the ring plane,
and then moving the opposite carbon in the opposite direction.
During this process we'll recognize and discuss a few characteristic conformations.
The exercises of this module are available in two formats: one using the Jmol Java applets for displaying molecules, the other using the Chime plugin.