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The structure of acetone and dimethyl sulfoxide in the liquid state is investigated using a combination of neutron diffraction measurements and empirical potential structure refinement (EPSR) modeling. By extracting the orientational correlations from the EPSR model, the alignment of dipoles in both fluids is identified. At short distances the dipoles or neighboring molecules are found to be in antiparallel configurations, but further out the molecules tend to be aligned predominately as head to tail in the manner of dipolar ordering. The distribution of these orientations in space around a central molecule is strongly influenced by the underlying symmetry of the central molecule. In both liquids there is evidence for weak methyl hydrogen to oxygen intermolecular contacts, though these probably do not constitute hydrogen bonds as such.

Original publication




Journal article


J Chem Phys

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