The anomeric effect refers to the unexpected preference for an electronegative substituent in the 2-position of a tetrahydropyran to be axial.
In the axial model, the molecular orbitals show the oxygen donating its lone pair into the sigma anti-bonding orbital of the C-Cl bond. This produces a longer C-Cl bond and a shorter C-O bond in the axial anomer. The clearly defined orbitals show that the anomeric effect is important in this molecule.
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