Salts can bind with some water to form hydrates. For example, we can call $\ce{CoCl_2\cdot 6H_2O}$ cobalt chloride hexahydrate. There is no reason that water should be the only solvent that can bind with salts though. Dimethyl sufloxide is pretty polar and can dissolve some salts, so I might hypothesize that we could make salt crystal that has some bound into it, say $\ce{CoCl_2\cdot 6DMSO}$. I might call that cobalt chloride hexadimethyl sulfoxate, but that is totally made up. Is there a name for that sort of thing?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you tried using the term solvates? For example, my top Google search result for "salt solvates" was this article. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ @NicolauSakerNeto Excellent! That is exactly what I was looking for, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – ericksonla
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


The corresponding rule in the Red Book (‘Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry – IUPAC recommendations 2005’) reads as follows:

The names of the individual components of such a generalized addition compound are each constructed by using an appropriate nomenclature system, whether compositional, substitutive or additive. The overall name of the compound is then formed by connecting the names of the components by ‘em’ dashes; the proportions of the components are indicated after the name by a stoichiometric descriptor consisting of arabic numerals separated by a solidus or solidi. The descriptor, in parentheses, is separated from the compound name by a space.

$\ce{CaCl2.8NH3}$ calcium chloride—ammonia (1/8)

$\ce{AlCl3.4EtOH}$ aluminium chloride—ethanol (1/4)

$\ce{BiCl3.3PCl5}$ bismuth(III) chloride—phosphorus(V) chloride (1/3)

$\ce{2Na2CO3.3H2O2}$ sodium carbonate—hydrogen peroxide (2/3)

  • $\begingroup$ @Loong Emotionally unsatisfying but you can't argue with IUPAC (unless, I guess, you're in those sort of circles). Unfortunately, that naming convention is utterly unhelpful when it comes to googling these compounds. $\endgroup$
    – ericksonla
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 19:43

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