Powerful organic acids with pyramidal structures

Collaboration between NISM and research laboratories in the UNamur paid

A new strategy for the development of powerful organic acids with pyramidal structures was recently developed through a joint collaboration between three research groups of the University of Namur and of the NISM institute.

This study, initiated by the laboratory of Organic Reactivity and Catalysis (RCO) headed by Prof. Berionni and co-authored by several researchers from the NISM institute, has just been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie under the title “Pushing the Lewis Acidity Boundaries of Boron Compounds With Non‐Planar Triarylboranes

Quantum-chemical investigations and advanced structural characterizations, performed in collaboration with the Laboratory of Structural Biological Chemistry (CBS) of Prof. Wouters and the Laboratory of Theoretical Chemistry (LCT) of Prof. Champagne, showed that increasing the pyramidalization of the central boron atom in these acids resulted in an exceptional enhancement of Lewis acidity. These results open new possibilities for the design of stronger organic acids, and for the development of new applications for activating small molecules such as CO2.