The concept of the electron pair bond formulated by G. N. Lewis provides the foundation for our understanding of chemical structure and reactivity. The consequences of the donor-acceptor interactions between bases and acids are manifest in the spectacular diversity of transformations that form the basis for chemical synthesis. By systematic analysis of the origins of these phenomena, it is possible to gain a unified picture of how electron pair donors (Lewis bases) can modulate and influence chemical reactions by enhancing either (or both) electrophilic or (and) nucleophilic character. This article provides a brief overview of the conceptual basis and theoretical foundation for these phenomena and illustrates a number of reactions primarily in Group 14 that are susceptible to catalysis by Lewis bases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas