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The chelating compounds have to do with the ligands involved around the metal ion in the center, which forms the rings characteristic of a chelating compound. The reason certain ligands allow the development of the chelating compound has to do with what types of bonds can be formed from those compounds and whether it can form a solid ring structure. Analyzing the composition of chelating compounds can help to find patterns.
Specifically, chelating compounds tend to have a ligand that is essentially a string of atoms attached to each other through sigma bonds. Sigma bonds, unlike pi bonds, are flexible so individual atoms in the string can rotate/move around. This characteristic allows the string of atom to bend so that both ends of the string can bond to the same central metal atom, forming a "ring."
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