Cyclohexane - Axial and Equatorial Positions

Instead of being planar, cyclohexane twists into something called a chair conformation to reduce angle and torsional strain.   

Introduction to Chair Conformations

By twisting into a chair, angle strain and torsional strain are now effectively zero.

Chair Flips

Concept: How chairs flip from one conformation to another

3m

In order to flip from one chair to another, the cyclohexane must first pass through a boat conformation (not stable due to flagpole interactions of hydrogens!). 

Axial and Equatorial Positions

  • Red = Axial. Follows the direction of the corner that it is on. Draw these first.
  • Blue = Equatorial. Goes in the slightly opposite direction of axials. Draw second.