Organic Chemistry: How to Draw Cyclohexane Chairs

If you are having trouble with drawing equatorial bonds for cyclohexane chairs there’s two easy methods to remember to make sure you always draw them right.

Method 1

Equatorial bonds are parallel to every second bond away from the carbon you’re drawing the equatorial bond on.

As an example, let’s draw the equatorial bond for the hydrogen atom attached to the carbon atoms the arrows are pointing to in the pictures below to clarify what I mean.

image

The bonds in green are the first bonds away from the carbon you want to draw the equatorial bond on. The bonds in blue are the second bonds away from the carbon you want to draw the equatorial bond on.

image

Now let’s draw the equatorial hydrogen atom for the carbon, with a bond parallel to the second bonds away from the carbon we are drawing a bond from.

image

Therefore the pictures below show incorrect ways to draw equatorial bonds, because they are not parallel to the second bonds away from the carbon you are drawing the bond on.

image

Method 2

If you don’t like the first method, you can instead remember how to draw equatorial bonds by recognizing that you are forming the letter Z or a backwards letter Z.

Here are a few examples of this idea with a methyl group (CH3) attached.

image

Can you draw the rest of the equatorial bonds?


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