Is B(OH)3 a lewis base?

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Jul 5, 2016

#"B"("OH")_3# has a trigonal planar structure:

And there are no lone pairs of electrons in the boron's central #2p_z# orbital. It is an empty unhybridized orbital, like this (except with #"OH"# instead of #"H"#):

Therefore, in order to bond, boron acts as an electron acceptor and takes electrons into its empty orbital, following the definition of a lewis acid.

(Afterwards, it experiences a conformational change and becomes a tetrahedral structure.)

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