Posts Tagged ‘conformational analysis’

The mysterious (aromatic) structure of n-Butyl lithium.

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

n-Butyl lithium is hexameric in the solid state and in cyclohexane solutions. Why? Here I try to find out some of its secrets.

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A to-and-fro of electrons operating in s-cis esters.

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

I conclude my exploration of conformational preferences by taking a look at esters. As before, I start with a search definition, the ester being restricted to one bearing only sp3 carbon centers.

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The conformational preference of s-cis amides. Ramachandran plots.

Monday, February 11th, 2013

This is really just a postscript to the previous post. There I showed how a search of the (small molecule) crystal database revealed the s-cis conformation about the N-C amide bond (the one with partial double bond character that prevents rotation) and how this conformation means that a C-H approaches quite closely to an adjacent oxygen. It is a tiny step from that search to a related, and very famous one named after Ramachandran[1]. Indeed this search, and the contour map used to display the results, really put crystal databases on the map so to speak.

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References

  1. G. Ramachandran, C. Ramakrishnan, and V. Sasisekharan, "Stereochemistry of polypeptide chain configurations", Journal of Molecular Biology, vol. 7, pp. 95-99, 1963. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-2836(63)80023-6

The conformational preference of s-cis amides.

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Amides with an H-N group are a component of the peptide linkage (O=C-NH). Here I ask what the conformation (it could also be called a configuration) about the C-N bond is. A search of the following type can be defined:

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The conformation of acetaldehyde: a simple molecule, a complex explanation?

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Consider acetaldehyde (ethanal for progressive nomenclaturists). What conformation does it adopt, and why? This question was posed of me by a student at the end of a recent lecture of mine. Surely, an easy answer to give? Read on …

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Secrets of a university tutor: conformational analysis and NMR spectroscopy.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

In a previous post, I set out how to show how one can reduce a 1H NMR spectrum to the structure [A] below. I speculated how a further test could be applied to this structure; back predicting its spectrum using just quantum mechanics. Overkill I know, but how well might the two match?

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σ-π-Conjugation: seeking evidence by a survey of crystal structures.

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

The electronic interaction between a single bond and an adjacent double bond is often called σ-π-conjugation (an older term for this is hyperconjugation), and the effect is often used to e.g. explain why more highly substituted carbocations are more stable than less substituted ones. This conjugation is more subtle in neutral molecules, but following my use of crystal structures to explore the so-called gauche effect (which originates from σ-σ-conjugation), I thought I would have a go here at seeing what the crystallographic evidence actually is for the σ-π-type.

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The strangely attractive conformation of C17H36.

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

We tend to think of simple hydrocarbons as relatively inert and un-interesting molecules. However, a recent article[1], which was in fact highlighted by Steve Bachrach on his blog , asks what “The Last Globally Stable Extended Alkane” might be. In other words, at what stage does a straight-chain hydrocarbon fold back upon itself, and no significant population of the linear form remain? The answer was suggested to be C17H36. I thought I might subject this conformation to an NCI (non-covalent-interaction) analysis.

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References

  1. N.O.B. Lüttschwager, T.N. Wassermann, R.A. Mata, and M.A. Suhm, "The Last Globally Stable Extended Alkane", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., vol. 52, pp. 463-466, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201202894

A conflation of concepts: Conformation and pericyclic.

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

This is an interesting result I got when studying the [1,4] sigmatropic rearrangement of heptamethylbicyclo-[3.1.0]hexenyl cations. It fits into the last lecture of a series on pericyclic mechanisms, and just before the first lecture on conformational analysis. This is how they join.

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The gauche effect: seeking evidence by a survey of crystal structures.

Friday, January 4th, 2013

I previously blogged about anomeric effects involving π electrons as donors, and my post on the conformation of 1,2-difluorethane turned out one of the most popular. Here I thought I would present the results of searching the Cambridge crystal database for examples of the gauche effect. The basic search is defined belowCCDC-search

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