Conformations of ethane
How to represent the staggered and eclipsed conformations of ethane.
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- Would the eclipse conformation ever occur on its own? As the Hydrogen has a partial positive charge would any of the other carbon bonded hydrogen's also have a positive charge, and as equal charges repel the hydrogen's favored state would be spaced out as far from each other as possible as is depicted in the staggered conformation(3 votes)
- It technically does. Note that in reality molecules vibrate and rotate all the time due to Brownian Motion. It is just that the staggered conformations are more energetically favored. In a system where there is ample energy to allow ethane to surpass the energy barrier necessary to get it into a eclipsed position, then at any given time you will find ethanes adopting a eclipsed conformation. However, given that staggered is more favored and is more energetically economical so to say, more ethanes in a given sample will have the staggered conformation. Hope this helps.(17 votes)
- Is it necessary for a gausche conformation to have some bulky groups? Or can it form between the hydrogens too?(1 vote)
- In Newman projection, gauche is the relationship between two atoms or groups whose dihedral angle is 60 °.
Two H atoms can be gauche, so staggered ethane has six gauche interactions.(7 votes)
- How many conformations can there really be?(2 votes)
- The bond rotate infinitly, so in the real sense it is infinite. But in terms of staggered and ecclipse for ethane, there will be 1 ecliipsed and one staggered since all the hydrogens are identical..(3 votes)
- What does a dihedral angle of 0 mean for the hydrogen atoms on each of the carbons in ethane?(1 vote)
- That means it’s an eclipsed configuration, the hydrogens are directly in line with one another if you look down the carbon-carbon bond.(1 vote)
- why does it always take an angle of 60 degree(1 vote)
- You have 6 H atoms in a circle, so they will be distributed 60 degrees away from each other(1 vote)
- Does it matter which carbon you take as the front one and which one you take as the back carbon atom??(1 vote)
- For this particular molecule, namely ethane, it will not matter which carbon you put at the front since they are essentially symmetrical to each other. It would make no difference.(1 vote)
- Can the conformations (all) of ethane be called gausche conformations ? Since the condition is same all the time.....(1 vote)
- This may sound like a very stupid question, but how you know where the plane of the page/computer screen would be? And how would you tell the difference between a bond coming out of the plane and bond going away from you in space?(1 vote)
- Anything with just a normal line between atoms is in the plane of the paper (or screen), wedged lines (they look like black filled in triangles) means that bond is coming out towards you and dashed lines means the bond is going away from you(1 vote)
- how do you calculate for the potential energy of each conformation?(1 vote)
- are conformational isomers essentially same molecules? (because they can rotate with the single bond)?(0 votes)
- Yeah, they're the same molecules just rotated around.
This is a bit different than the other forms of isomerism (E/Z, R/S, etc.)(2 votes)
- [Voiceover] On the left, we have one way to represent the ethane molecule. The only problem with this drawing is it doesn't give us much information about what ethane looks like in 3D dimensions. On the right, is another drawing of the ethane molecule, but this drawing gives us more information. This is a wedge and dash drawing. Remember, a wedge has a bond coming out at you in space or a bond coming out of the plane of the page. A dash is a bond going away from you in space or a bond going into the plane of the page. And finally, if you just draw a straight line like this, that means a bond in the plane of the page. This wedge and dash drawing represents one conformation of ethane. Conformations are different arrangements of atoms that result from bond rotation. We know that there's free rotation around this carbon-carbon single bond. And this wedge and dash drawing right now represents what's called the staggered conformation of ethane. But if we rotate about this carbon-carbon bond, we're gonna get different arrangements of the atoms and therefore we would get different conformations. This is easiest to see with a model set, so up next I have a video where I have a model set of ethane and I rotate around the carbon-carbon bond so we can see different conformations. I'm gonna make these hydrogens green in the video, so those green hydrogens are attached to this carbon, which will be the front carbon. And then we have hydrogens attached to the back carbon that I will make white. So let's watch the video and look at the different conformations of ethane. Here we have the staggered conformation of ethane, looking at it from a wedge and dash perspective. If we rotate this a little bit, we'll see the staggered conformation of ethane from a sawhorse perspective. If we sight down the carbon-carbon bond, we'll see the third way of looking at this molecule. And this is called a Newman projection. If I take one of these hydrogens here and I rotate it, so I'm keeping the back carbon stationary and I'm rotating the front carbon, every time I rotate this, that represents a different conformation of the ethane molecule. So there are many, many possible conformations in theory. I rotate back to the original position here, so this is the Newman projection where we just were. The other conformation that we really care about for ethane is what's called the eclipse conformation. So, I just rotated the green hydrogens so they're in front or eclipsing the white hydrogens in the back. So, this is the eclipse conformation as a Newman projection. I could turn this a little bit so we can see what an eclipsed conformation looks like from a sawhorse view and then finally, I can turn a little bit so we can see the eclipse conformation from a wedge and dash perspective. Now that we've seen the video, let's look at three ways to represent the staggered conformation of ethane. And we'll start with the wedge and dashing drawing. So you can see that this hydrogen, this carbon, this carbon, and this hydrogen are all in the same plane. So they're all in the same plane here which is why all these bonds are drawing as straight lines in our wedge and dash drawing. If we look at this carbon on the left, we know that there is a hydrogen in green coming out at us in space, a hydrogen in green going away from us in space, and then this hydrogen which is in the plane of the page. For the hydrogens in white, this hydrogen is in the plane of the page, this one's coming out at us in space, and then we have one going away from us in space. And it's pretty easy to see that in the picture here, so we're just going to match the drawings to the pictures. Our next way to represent the staggered conformation is what's called a sawhorse drawing. So for this sawhorse drawing, this carbon right here is this carbon and it has three hydrogens in green attached to it. So, this is a hydrogen in green, in green, and in green. So, we also have this carbon-carbon bond so this bond here on our sawhorse drawing. And finally, for this carbon in the back, this is the one that has hydrogens in white. So these are the three hydrogens in white. If we look down that carbon-carbon bond, if we look down this axis right here, so if you put your eye, imagine putting your eye right here, so here's the eye and you look down this axis, you will see the Newman projection just like we saw in the video. And so, this dot, this point here represents the front carbon. That's this carbon right here. So let me go ahead and write that down. So this point represents the front carbon and the front carbon is bonded to our hydrogens in green. So this would be a hydrogen in green, so is this one, and so is this one. The front carbon blocks the carbon in the back. You can't see the carbon in the back in this drawing but we know it's there and we have to represent it somehow so in a Newman projection, it's this circle back here that represents the back carbon. So this is the back carbon, this circle. Let me write that down. The circle is the back carbon even though we can't see it when you actually have the model in front of you. And the back carbon is the one that has the hydrogens in white. So this should be a hydrogen in white, so is this one, and so is this one. So you can see the hydrogens in white back here and you know they're attached to a carbon but you can't see it because the front carbon is blocking it. So let's talk a little bit more about Newman projections. We can talk about the angle between this hydrogen in white and this hydrogen in green. So think about the angle between these. It's 60 degrees so we have 60 degree angle between these two hydrogens. So I can write down here too. So 60 degrees. This angle is called the dihedral angle or the torsional angle. So I'll write those down, so you can call this the dihedral angle or you could also call it the torsional angle. Let me write that down here too. So torsional angle or you could also call it the torsion angle. The angle between the hydrogens will be important when you're talking about conformations. Here the angle is 60 degrees which means that these hydrogens are not right on top of each other. There's space between these hydrogens on the Newman projection. The green hydrogens are staggered compared to the white hydrogens. So if you go around you can see that there's space between all of these. And that's why we call this the staggered conformation of ethane. And finally, let's look at the other important conformation of ethane which is the eclipsed conformation. And we'll start with the wedge and dash drawing. So we have this hydrogen, this carbon, this carbon, and this hydrogen. These are all in the same plane, so I draw this line here and we can see these bonds are all in the same plane up here on my wedge and dash drawing. For this carbon on the left, we can see that we have a hydrogen in green coming out at us. So right, here's your hydrogen in green coming out at you, a hydrogen in green going away from you back here, and then this hydrogen in the plane of the page. For the hydrogens in white, this hydrogen is in the plane of the page, this hydrogen is coming out at us in space, and this hydrogen is going away from us in space. For the sawhorse drawings, let's move on to here. This carbon is the front carbon, so that's this carbon right here. The one that's bonded to the three hydrogens in green. So let me highlight those. So we have one hydrogen, this one right here is going up. So that's our hydrogen in green going up. This hydrogen over here is going down, a little bit to the right, and this hydrogen's going down and to the left. And then we have the carbon-carbon bond. So let me draw that in here. So here's our carbon-carbon bond, I made it much longer up here just so the atoms wouldn't interfere with each other on our sawhorse drawing. And then we get to the carbon in the back. So here's the carbon in the back which is bonded to three hydrogens. And I made these the hydrogens in white. So here's one, two, and three. So here are the hydrogens in white on the picture. Finally, we get to the Newman projection for the eclipsed conformation. And remember, the Newman projection is what we would see if we stare down the carbon-carbon bond. So if we sight down this carbon-carbon bond, if we put our eye right here on our sawhorse projection and we stare down the carbon-carbon bond, we see this for our Newman projection. Alright, first we see this point here repesenting the front carbon, so that point is the front carbon on our Newman projection. And the front carbon is bonded to the hydrogens in green. So here's one, two, and three. So up here, one, two, and three. So this would be the bonds, this represents the bonds of that front carbon to those hydrogens. The back carbon is pretty difficult to see but we know that the circle represents the back carbon. The front carbon is in the way. I'm not sure if you might be able to see a tiny bit of the back carbon here. But the back carbon should be blocked by the front carbon. The back carbon we know has our hydrogens in white so here are the three hydrogens in white. So back here you can just barely see them poking out. This time when you think about the angle between your hydrogens, this time your dihedral or your torsional angle is zero degrees. Think about this hydrogen being perfectly upright, and the hydrogen in the back being perfectly upright. So the angle between those is zero. So your dihedral angle is zero degrees here for the eclipsed conformation. The green hydrogens are eclipsing the white hydrogens. So that's why we call this the eclipsed conformation.