Conformational Analysis : Cyclohexane

Manipulate the two models below to align them in chair conformations and to become familiar with the shape of the cycle.

Cyclohexane: C6H12

The Cyclohexane Chair

Manipulate the model on the left below to see how the axial group (in green) is aligned and the model on the right to see the equatorial orientation. Any atom or group that is larger than H will prefer to exist in the equatrial orientation to avoid destabilizing 1,3-diaxial interactions.

Axial-Substituted Cyclohexane

Equatorial-Substituted Cyclohexane

A substituent may convert from being axial to equatorial, and vice versa, through a process called "ring-flipping" in which the cycle undergoes an extensive conformational change into a second chair form. Along the way the molecule goes through "half-chair" and "boat" conformations which have different stabilities due to eclipsing and/or flag-pole interactions.

1,3-Substituted Cyclohexane ; Both Groups Axial

1,3-Disubstituted Cyclohexane , Both Groups Equatorial