Why is the chair conformation of cyclohexane stable?

1 Answer
Mar 5, 2016

Chair conformation is the most stable because there is no ring strain and no steric strain in the molecule.


The carbons in cyclohexane are all #sp^3# hybridized. The ideal angle between atoms connected to anything that is #sp^3# hybridized is 109.5 degrees. In a chair conformation, the angles of all the atoms in the ring can adopt this positioning, and thus the molecule does not experience any ring or angle strain.

In addition to this, the hydrogen atoms occupying axial positions in the molecule are as far apart as possible. Therefore, any 1,3 diaxial strain in the molecule due to interaction of hydrogen atoms is minimized.