MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Defining the word 'anation.'

Date: Mon Feb 4 13:39:27 2002
Posted By: Dan Berger, MadSci Administrator
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1012033572.Ch

I came across this word in F.A. Cotton and Wilkinson "Inoragnic chemistry"on page 664, they define "anation reactions" in which an anion displaces the H2O from the coordination sphere. I wanted to know the "literal meaning" of the word anation, this word is not listed in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
Dear Farooq,

As we corresponded about this, I thought I'd try to answer.

"Anation" sounds like it was coined by Cotton and Wilkinson. Most scientific terms were coined at some point, and not all of them, perhaps very few of them, make it into the wider linguistic world. (I don't find "nucleophile" or "hydroboration" in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, either.)

I am not particularly surprised that "anation" didn't make it into Webster, even into an unabridged dictionary. The word is obviously intended to be analogous to "hydration," in which anions may be displaced from around a metal ion.

"Hydration" = "hydr" (water, from Greek hydror) + "ation", from "ate", a Latinate verb suffix, + "ion", a Latinate suffix changing an "ate" verb to a noun)

"Anation" is coined from "an" (from ANion) and "ation" to be analogous to "hydration."

Therefore "anation" means the displacement, from a metal ion, of other ligands (i.e. water) by anions.

Dan Berger
MadSci Administrator

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