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In lecture, I could visually see how the cyclohexane chair structure with substituents could be cis or trans however I am a bit confused because I thought only molecules with double bonds could have geometric isomers. Can someone please explain how you can identify if something will have a geometric isomer besides it having a double bond?
So actually you don't always need a double bond in order to have cis- or trans- conformations of organic molecules. While the molecules that demonstrated cis- and trans- conformations did contain double bonds which contributed to these differences in molecular conformation, cis- and trans- isomers could be applied to any molecule, when appropriate. One particular instance would be the cyclohexane molecule when looking at stability and differences in strain and energy profiles.
zhajee wrote:Molecules with triple bonds cannot have cis and trans isomers right? Since the molecule becomes linear it cannot have different arrangements of groups around the bond?
That is correct. Carbon atoms with triple bonds are sp hybridized, thereby limiting the final "shape" to be linear.
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