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Dimethyl sulfoxide

Dimethyl sulfoxide

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Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an organosulfur compound with the formula (CH3)2SO. This colorless liquid is an important polar aprotic solventthat dissolves both polar and nonpolar compounds and is miscible in a wide range of organic solvents as well as water. It has a relatively high melting point. DMSO has the unusual property that many individuals perceive a garlic-like taste in the mouth after contact with the skin.[2]

In terms of chemical structure, the molecule has idealized Cs symmetry. It has a trigonal pyramidal molecular geometry consistent with other three-coordinate S(IV) compounds,[3] with a nonbonded electron pair on the approximately tetrahedral sulfur atom.

 and is less toxic than other members of this class, such as dimethylformamide, dimethylacetamide, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, and HMPA. DMSO is frequently used as a solvent for chemical reactions involving salts, most notably Finkelstein reactions and other nucleophilic substitutions. It is also extensively used as an extractant in biochemistry and cell biology. Because DMSO is only weakly acidic, it tolerates relatively strong bases and as such has been extensively used in the study of carbanions. A set of non-aqueous pKa values (C-H, O-H, S-H and N-H acidities) for thousands of organic compounds have been determined in DMSO solution.

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