I'm pondering a situation on 1,3-diaxial steric strain of cyclohexane. I noticed if an axial monosubstituted isopropyl is replaced with a cyano substituent, the steric strain is markedly less. May I conclude that the CN substituent has electron density toward the N leaving C electron poor and thus less electron repulsion from 1,3-diaxial steric strain with axial H on C3 and C5. Thus, the more electronegative an atom or atom group bonded to carbon as a substituent on C1, the more electron poor C1 will be resulting in less 1,3-diaxial electron repulsion?
Similarly, if the substituent is an electronegative atom like F, the electron density of the axial H on C3 and C5 as well as the rest of the molecule is being pulled toward F on C1, resulting in reduce electron repulsion?