7.10.3 Lewis Acids and Bases

G.N. Lewis in 1923 defined an acid as a species which accepts electron pair and base which donates an electron pair. As far as bases are concerned, there is not much difference between Brönsted-Lowry and Lewis concepts, as the base provides a lone pair in both the cases. However, in Lewis concept many acids do not have proton. A typical example is reaction of electron deficient species BF3 with NH3.

BF3 does not have a proton but still acts as an acid and reacts with NH3 by accepting its lone pair of electrons. The reaction can be represented by,

BF3 + :NH3  → BF3:NH3

Electron deficient species like AlCl3, Co3+, Mg2+, etc. can act as Lewis acids while species like H2O, NH3, OH   etc. which can donate a pair of electrons, can act as Lewis bases.

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