Conformer Definition in Chemistry

Newman projections of butane conformers and their relative energy differences.
Newman projections of butane conformers and their relative energy differences.

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A conformer is an isomer of a molecule that differs from another isomer by the rotation of a single bond in the molecule. A conformer is also known as a conformational isomer. The isomers that are formed are known as conformation.

Conformer Example

Butane forms three conformers with regard to its methyl (CH3) groups. Two of these are gauche conformers and one is an anti conformer. Of the three, the anti conformer is the most stable.

Source

  • Moss, GP (1996-01-01). "Basic terminology of stereochemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)". Pure and Applied Chemistry. 68 (12): 2193–2222. doi:10.1351/pac199668122193
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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Conformer Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/definition-of-conformer-604949. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 28). Conformer Definition in Chemistry. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-conformer-604949 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Conformer Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-conformer-604949 (accessed November 27, 2021).