Cis vs. Trans

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Mike Vinci 2B
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Cis vs. Trans

Postby Mike Vinci 2B » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:46 pm

Hey Chemistry Community,
I'm reviewing my notes for the final on Sunday, and I was wondering about the effect of cis and trans structures on polarity. I recall that cis usually has two atoms on same sides with similar electronegativity which I assume creates the polarity, and trans has the similar electronegativity on opposite sides, but does this guarantee that they cancel out and make the molecule polar? Also, does symmetry guarantee that the dipoles cancel and make the structure of a molecule non-polar?

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Re: Cis vs. Trans

Postby Chem_Mod » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:17 am

If it’s the same atom on opposite sides (trans), then yes, the bond dipoles will cancel and the molecule will be nonpolar. If they’re on the same side (cis), then the dipoles will not cancel and the molecule will be polar.

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