Why is a chair conformation of cyclohexane more stable?

1 Answer
Jul 30, 2016


Because it minimizes so-called trans-annular interactions.


In a chair conformation, each face of the cyclohexane ring has 3 axial substituents, whose interaction is sterically unfavourable. This is to be compared with boat and twist-boat conformations whose substituents tend to eclipse each other to give unfavourable steric interactions.

This answer is no substitute for actually making a model, and observing trans-annular interactions in three dimensions.