Chair/twist-boat energy gap in monocyclic, conformationally unconstrained polyalkylcyclohexanes

Jörg Weiser, Oren Golan, Lutz Fitjer*, Silvio E. Biali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


A conformational search procedure (HUNTER), in combination with the MM3(92) program, was used for the exploration of the conformational hypersurface of alkyl-substituted cyclohexanes and for the calculation of their chair/twist-boat (TB) energy gap. The systems studied were conformationally unconstrained polyalkylcyclohexanes (alkyl = methyl, ethyl, isopropyl, and tert-butyl) possessing either geminal and/or vicinal arrangements of the alkyl groups, but differing in the number of alkyl substituents and in their relative disposition (i.e., cis or trans). The calculations indicate that in 1,1,3,3,5,5-hexaisopropylcyclohexane the TB is the lowest energy form. Modification of the cis,trans relationship of vicinal alkyl groups changes the chair/TB energy gap, and in the minimum energy conformation of cis,trans,trans-1,2,3,4-tetraisopropylcyclohexane (23c) and cis,syn,cis-1,2,4,5-tetraisopropylcyclohexane (31c) the cyclohexyl ring adopts a TB conformation. The tetrasubstituted systems cis,syn,cis-1,2-diisopropyl-3,4-dimethylcyclohexane (46), cis,syn,cis-1,4-diisopropyl-2,5-dimethyl-cyclohexane (47), and cis,trans,trans-1,2-diisopropyl-3,4-dimethyl-cyclohexane (41) are the least crowded monocyclic unconstrained cyclohexanes found in which the TB conformation is of lower energy than the chair form. The present study indicates that two methyls and two isopropyl substituents are sufficient for stabilizing the TB form of a cyclohexyl ring relative to the chair form.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)8277-8284
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1996


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