Why Doesn't All-Trans-1,2,3,4,5,6-Hexaspiro(THF)Cyclohexane Complex Metal Ions?

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Journal Of Organic Chemistry


Despite the inherent preference for placing alkyl substituents, rather than alkoxy substituents, in equatorial positions, all-trans-hexaspiro(THF)cyclohexane strongly favors the all-O-equatorial conformer. Ab initio and density functional calculations on a series of cyclohexane derivatives containing one, two, or three spiro(THF) units demonstrate that this preference results from at least two important factors. First, when oxygen atoms are attached to adjacent carbons, the gauche effect favors the di-O-equatorial arrangement. In trans-1,2-dispiro(THF) cyclohexane, the single gauche interaction overcomes the inherent steric preference for projecting the two oxygen atoms axially. Similarly, in the all-trans-hexaspiro(THF)cyclohexane the six gauche interactions in the all-O-equatorial conformer overpower the inherent conformational biases of the six isolated spiro(THF) moieties. Nevertheless, the gauche effect only partially accounts for the more than 20 kcal/mol conformational bias calculated for this molecule. There is also another factor, the high energetic cost associated with projecting multiple alkoxy substituents axially on the same face of a cyclohexane scaffold. The calculations find the energetic cost of each 1,3-diaxial interaction is about 2 kcal/mol larger between alkoxy substituents than between alkyl substituents.

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