Frustrated Lewis Pairs (FLPs)

Do you know what is a frustrated lewis pairs?

All chemists know lewis pairs: the combinaison of a lewis acid and a lewis base forming a dative (or covalent) bond.

Frustated Lewis Pairs can’t form a covalent bond. In fact, the adduct is synthesized using bulky lewis acid (for instance: B(PhF5)3 and a lewis base P(MePh)3,..


The bond because of this steric interaction can’t be strong . It’s very low about the scale of supramolecular bond (electrostatic).

this adducts react with small molecules then according to Van der Waals interaction can pre orient the FLP for essential reaction :

For instance with: CO2, H2, …


The manipulation of these FLP is very sensitive.

1) These compounds have to be manipulated under Argon or an other inert gas

2) All about staff (mass, ..) have to be into a glovebox


3) The glassware is name “Schlenck tube” permitting thanks to the ramps Argon/Vacuum to be into an inert and dry atmosphere.

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4) Solvents have to be distilled under an argon atmosphere.


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