My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

Zwitterion



  A zwitterion (from German "Zwitter" — "hybrid," "hermaphrodite") is a chemical compound that is electrically neutral but carries formal positive and negative charges on different atoms.[1] Zwitterions are polar and usually have a high solubility in water and a poor solubility in most organic solvents.

Additional recommended knowledge

Ampholytes are molecules that contain both acidic and basic groups (and are therefore amphoteric) and will exist as zwitterions at a certain pH. This pH is known as the molecule's isoelectric point. Ampholytic molecules make good buffer solutions — they resist change to the pH of a solution by selective ionization. In the presence of acids, they will accept the hydrogen ions, removing them from the solution. In the presence of bases, they will donate hydrogen ions to the solution, again balancing the pH.

Applications

Typical examples of zwitterions are:

Less common examples of zwitterions are:

References

  1. ^ Compendium of Chemical Terminology, zwitterion
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zwitterion". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE