Question

Classify each of the following as a Lewis acid or a Lewis base.

Solution: Classify each of the following as a Lewis acid or a Lewis ba...

A Lewis acid is an electron acceptor. All cations are Lewis acids ($Ca^{2+}$, $Fe^{3+}$). Atoms or ions that have an incomplete octet can also act as Lewis acids ($BF_3$, $AlF_3$). Molecules whose central atom can hold more than 8 electrons can also be electron acceptors and are classified as Lewis acids ($SiF_4$).

A Lewis base is an electron donor. They tend to be ions that are negatively charged ($F^-$, $O^{2-}$). Molecules with electrons on their central atom ($NH_3$) can also be Lewis bases.

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