Explain why the following compounds behave as Lewis acids?

(i) BCl_{3}

(ii) AlCl_{3}

Answers (1)

(i) BCl_{3} – It is an electron-deficient compound due to the presence of 6 electrons in its outermost orbital along with a vacant p orbital. Therefore, it behaves as Lewis acid and accepts a lone pair of electrons.

(ii) AlCl_{3} – It forms a covalent bond with chlorine through formation of three single bonds of chlorine. There are three electrons in the valence shell of Aluminium and thus it acts as an electron-deficient compound, therefore behaving as a Lewis acid.

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