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What is the difference between CIS and Trans?

Asked by Jenske , Last updated: May 30, 2020

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Peyton Berrymore

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Peyton Berrymore, Artist, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Nashville, Tennessee

Answered May 29, 2020

Cis-Trans are isomers consisting possibility of placing substituent groups on the same or on different sides of a double-bonded plane or non-aromatic cycle. The different existence of the cis and the Trans isomers is made possible because of the high energy barrier of rotation about the double bond. Both cis and Trans are found among organic and inorganic compounds.

The prefixes cis and Trans were derivatives of Latin. Cis means “on the same side,” conversely trans means “on opposing sides.” In cis isomer, the substituent groups appear to be on one side; trans isomers, in contrast, has the substituent group placed on opposing sides of a double-bonded plane or a non-aromatic cycle—the polarity results in increased intermolecular forces, which in turn causes the boiling point to be increased. The Trans isomers are less polar in comparison to the cis isomers; therefore, the cis isomers would have a higher boiling point.

 

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