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 $2 {p}_{z}$ orbital. It is an empty unhybridized orbital, like this (except with $\text{OH}$ instead of $\text{H}$):

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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