Cycloalkane Conformations

The cycloalkane molecules are displayed initially as "wireframe" models to make it easier to see the shape of the ring. Click the appropriate buttons to get "space-filling" models (better for seeing where atoms are close enough together to repel one another), or to highlight specific sets of atoms. Rotate the models using the mouse; you can return each model to its original orientation at any time by clicking the "Reset model" button.

Exercises to do with these models:

  • View the molecules as wireframe models, and practice drawing them on paper - which orientations are represented in your textbook? Practice until you are able to look at the pictures in your textbook and imagine the three-dimensional molecules.

  • Identify axial/equatorial/flagpole/eclipsing hydrogens in each conformation before clicking the button that will highlight them. This will be easiest using the wireframe model; practice drawing them again, with attention to making clear the axial and equatorial bonds.

  • Compare the spacefilling models of the chair and boat conformations of cyclohexane. Can you see the origin of the higher energy of the latter (repulsions)?

Go to:



Cyclohexane Conformations

(Note: Sets of H's have been color-coded for clarity.)

Chair

"Flipped" Chair

Boat

Spacefilling model Spacefilling model Spacefilling model
Wireframe model Wireframe model Wireframe model
Highlight H's Highlight H's Highlight H's
Highlight equatorial H's Highlight equatorial H's Highlight eclipsed H's
Highlight axial H's Highlight axial H's Highlight "flagpole" H's
Reset model Reset model Reset model



Other Cycloalkanes

Cyclopentane

Cyclobutane

Cyclopropane

Spacefilling model Spacefilling model Spacefilling model
Wireframe model Wireframe model Wireframe model
Highlight H's Highlight H's Highlight H's
Highlight eclipsed H's Highlight "flagpole" H's Highlight C's
Highlight "flap" C Highlight non-"flagpole" H's Highlight eclipsed H's
Reset model Reset model Reset model


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Comments, suggestions, or questions to: schwartz@chem.fsu.edu