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Relieving Torsional Strain

Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:15 pm
by Jonathan Shih 3H
Recalling wednesday's lecture, Dr. Lavelle described relieving torsional strain by rotation. First of all, just to make sure, the strain is caused by the eclipsed conformation right?

And to relieve said strain, the rotation Dr. Lavelle was talking about would be the rotation to go from a Eclipsed conformation to a Staggered formation? With the staggered conformation having lower energy and thus being more stable there would be less force opposing the rotation because the staggered is more favorable? Is this thinking correct?

Thanks in advance!

Re: Relieving Torsional Strain

Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:29 pm
by Saitiel1

The torsional strain is actually caused by repulsion of electrons between different groups. The eclipsed conformation happens to have the biggest repulsion because of its shape.

The strain is indeed relieved when rotating from an eclipsed conformation into a staggered conformation. The staggered conformation has less electron repulsion between groups because they are not directly in front of each other. You are also correct in recalling that the staggered conformation has less energy and is more stable and favorable.

Hope this helps!