Squeezing fluoride out of water with a neutral bidentate antimony(V) Lewis acid. Academic Article uri icon


  • Because of hydration, fluoride ions in water typically elude complexation by neutral Lewis acids. Here, we show how this limitation can be overcome with a bidentate Lewis acid containing two antimony(V) centers. This derivative (2) is obtained by the simple reaction of 4,5-bis(diphenylstibino)-9,9-dimethylxanthene (1) with two equivalents of 3,4,5,6-tetrachlorobenzoquinone (o-chloranil). It features two square-pyramidal stiborane units oriented in a face-to-face fashion. Titration experiments show that this new bidentate Lewis acid binds fluoride in aqueous solutions containing 95% water with a binding constant (K) of 70030M(-1). The structure of the fluoride adduct confirms fluoride anion chelation between the two antimony centers.

published proceedings

  • Angew Chem Int Ed Engl

altmetric score

  • 1.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Hirai, M., & Gabbai, F. P.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Hirai, Masato||Gabbaiï, François P

publication date

  • January 2015