Journal of Chemical Sciences

, 131:114 | Cite as

Probing the Lewis acidity of heavier pnictogen trichlorides

  • Jobha A Johnson
  • Ajay VenugopalEmail author
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue on 150 years of the Periodic Table


Lewis acidity of SbCl3 and BiCl3 has been investigated in the solid as well as in solution state. Two β-ketoimine ligands, [O=C(Me)]CH[C(Me)NHAr] (L1, Ar=2,6-diisopropylphenyl) and [(CH2)2{N(H)C(Me)CHC(Me)=O}2] (L2) are used to prepare the complexes [(L1)(THF)SbCl3]2 (1), [(L1)(THF)BiCl3]2 (2), [L2SbCl3]2 (3) and [(L2)3(BiCl3)2] (4), which are characterized by multinuclear NMR spectroscopy, elemental analysis and single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments. Solid-state structural analysis of 14 and solution studies on SbCl3 and BiCl3 using the Gutmann-Beckett method reveal the higher Lewis acidity of BiCl3 compared to SbCl3.

Graphic abstract

BiCl3 is more Lewis acidic than SbCl3 as evidenced by Gutmann-Beckett analysis and investigation into the solid-state structures of β-ketoimine complexes by single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments.


Pnictogen elements Lewis acidity β-ketoiminato ligands Gutmann-Beckett method 



We thank the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (Grant Number: 01(2777)/14/EMR-II) for the generous funding. Alex P. Andrews is thanked for X-ray diffraction experiments.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ChemistryIndian Institute of Science Education and Research ThiruvananthapuramVithura, ThiruvananthapuramIndia

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