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To clarify, polydentates are ligands with multiple bonding sites because of their lone pairs, and because of those multiple binding sites, they can create chelates by forming a ring around the central metal atom. Do chelates form because the polydentate ligands attach themselves together (that is probably wrong), or do the ligands place themselves next to each other designing themselves to make the shape of the chelate into a ring? Thanks
I think there might be a misunderstanding about the structure of a chelate. A chelate consists of one metal atom and one ligand- a single compound which can have multiple binding sites on the same metal atom. For example, a tetradentate ligand is one single compound that binds to one metal atom in four sites.
The polydentate ligand binds to a central metal cation. Because polydentate ligands are normally long stands with multiple binding sites, the long molecule can bend and naturally arrange itself around the central atom, thus forming the chelate or ring-like structure.
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