Lewis Acidity of Organo-antimony Compounds Grant uri icon


  • With the support of the Chemical Synthesis Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor François Gabbaï of the Chemistry Department at Texas A&M University, will investigate novel Lewis acids based on antimony. The first class of compounds targeted in this project are cationic antimony(V) species (or stibonium ions) to be used in water for the detection of potentially toxic anions including fluoride and cyanide. These stibonium ions will be incorporated in conjugated and emissive frameworks to afford a family of compounds that will respond to the presence of the anions via distinct photophysical changes. The second class will be halogenated, electron-deficient organostiboranes which will be designed to rival, if not exceed, the properties of perfluorinated organoboranes. Unlike their boron analogs, these new organoelement Lewis acids should be resistant to oxidative conditions and will be used to study the complexation of reactive oxidizing anions such as peroxide and hypochlorite. In addition, this award will contribute to the education of a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students, and allow Professor Gabbaï to maintain his involvement in various services and outreach activities. From a broader perspective, this project will have an impact on two main areas. The first area deals with the detection of anions such as fluoride and cyanide, which can sometimes be found at toxic levels in drinking water. The second important area that this project will impact concerns the chemistry of high energy molecules that are intermediates in important energy storage reactions. The advances made in this project will be mostly fundamental but may contribute to the health of our society or to the development of new energy storage technologies.

date/time interval

  • 2013 - 2016