Drawing Ring Structures

Carbon atoms can be linked together in such a way as to form rings.  Let's examine the structure of (trans)-1,4-dimethylcyclohexane shown below.  The cyclohexane part of the molecule is the hexagon part of the structure.  All 6 carbons (C) are in the same plane in this drawing.  This was merely done for the convenience of drawing this structure and the "real" structure of cyclohexane does not have all 6 carbons in the same plane.  The 1,4-dimethyl part of the name indicates that on the 1st C there is a methyl group and on the 4th carbon there is another methyl group.  The (trans) indicates that these two methyl groups point in opposite directions, one pointing out of the plane toward you (solid-wedge) and the other point back away (dashed-wedge) from the plane of the canvas.

(trans)-1,4-dimethylcyclohexane

Take NoteWhen drawing rings it is often convenient to draw all the ring carbons in the plane of the canvas or paper.
Action
  • Hover over the structure of (trans)-1,4-dimethylcyclohexane and display the implied H atoms that aren't shown.
  • Examine the structure - the solid wedge bond showing the CH3 in front of the plane of canvas and the other CH3 with dashed wedge pointing behind the plane of the canvas.  The canvas is in the plane of your computer screen or paper.
Action
  • Draw (trans)-1,4-dimethylcyclohexane in the applet below.
  • Use the ring structure to draw 6 carbons in a ring (cyclohexane).  All of them are in the plane of the canvas.  This is convenient for showing the 3D arrangement of cyclic molecules.
  • Use solid/dashed wedges to show the CH3 on each end.  Note you do not need to draw the H atoms or their wedges/bonds.