The melting point alternation in the short-chain n-alkanes: single-crystal x-ray analyses of propane at 30 K and of n-butane to n-nonane at 90 K.
Single-crystal x-ray crystallog. of C3-C9 n-alkanes indicated that even-numbered alkanes have optimal intermol. contacts at both ends, while odd-numbered ones have these at only one end, with longer distances at the other end. This leads to less dense crystal packing, and therefore lower m.ps., for the odd-numbered alkanes.
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