The C-F bond is the most polar bond in organic chemistry, and thus the bond has a relatively large dipole moment with a significant -ve charge density on the fluorine atom and correspondingly a +ve charge density on carbon. The electrostatic nature of the bond renders it the strongest one in organic chemistry. However, the fluorine atom itself is nonpolarizable, and thus, despite the charge localization on fluorine, it is a poor hydrogen-bonding acceptor. These properties of the C-F bond make it attractive in the design of nonviscous but polar organic compounds, with a polarity limited to influencing the intramolecular nature of the molecule and less so intermolecular interactions with the immediate environment. In this Perspective, the synthesis of aliphatic chains carrying multivicinal fluoromethylene motifs is described. It emerges that the dipoles of adjacent C-F bonds orientate relative to each other, and thus, individual diastereoisomers display different backbone carbon chain conformations. These conformational preferences recognize the influence of the well-known gauche effect associated with 1,2-difluoroethane but extend to considering 1,3-fluorine-fluorine dipolar repulsions. The synthesis of carbon chains carrying two, three, four, five, and six vicinal fluoromethylene motifs is described, with an emphasis on our own research contributions. These motifs obey almost predictable conformational behavior, and they emerge as candidates for inclusion in the design of performance organic molecules.
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