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Coordinating Solvents

Examples of these solvents are : dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO), dimethylformamide (DMF), acctonitrile (CH3CN), nitromethane (CH3NO2), nitrobenzene (C6H5NO2) etc. The ability of a solvent to dissolve a particular solute in solution depends on its ability to solvate the dissolved ions (i.e., to be able to coordinate with ions). For ionic solutes, solvating of both cations and anions is important. Generally, cations are smaller in size and their solvating is quite important. The solvent molecules in case of cations act as ligands and form complexes. They are donor solvents. For example,

            Cu2+ + 4H2O     →     [Cu(H2O)4]2+
[Cu(OH2)4]2+ + 4NH  →    [Cu(NH3)2+ + 4H2O

The order of coordinating ability of some common solvents toward typical cations is well established,
DMSO > DMF > acetone CH3CN > CH3NO2 >C6H5NO2   

Acceptor properties are generally manifested by orienting the positive end fo the dipole toward the anions.

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