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Organic Chemistry: Conformations

Terms

Summary: Conformations

Conformations of Ethane

Anti  -  A staggered conformation where two large groups are placed in their most stable positions at a dihedral angle of 180 degrees. Also refers generally to any geometrically arrangement of groups in opposing positions.
Conformation  -  Different 3-dimensional shapes that can be taken by a molecule by rotating about single bonds.
Dihedral angle  -  Angle formed between two bonds on neighboring atoms in a Newman projection.
Eclipsed  -  A conformation where bonds have dihedral angles of zero degrees. This typically maximizes the energy.
Gauche  -  A staggered conformation where large groups at a dihedral angle of 60 degrees repel each other.
Newman projection  -  A depiction of the conformation of a molecule where it is viewed down the atoms of a particular bond.
Staggered  -  A conformation where bonds have dihedral angles of sixty degrees. This typically minimizes the energy.
Steric hindrance  -  Repulsion between the electron clouds on bulky groups of a molecule or between molecules.
Syn  -  Steric hindrance between terminal methyl groups in a system of at least five carbon centers. Also a generic term describing groups oriented in the same direction; i.e. the opposite of anti.
Torsional strain  -  Resistance to rotation about a single bond caused by steric hindrance of eclipsing interactions.
Torsional energy  -  The energy it takes to overcome torsional strain, or the difference in energy between eclipsed and staggered conformations.

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