Why are amines Lewis bases?

1 Answer
May 9, 2018

Lewis' theory of bases and acids says that:

  • Acids are lone pair acceptors
  • Bases are lone pair donors.

A base doesn't lose its lone pair, but shares it, like a dative covalent bond.

An amine has a nitrogen atom connected to three alkyl groups, while also having a lone pair of electrons:
#:"NR"_1"R"_2"R"_3#, with #"R"_1, "R"_2# and #"R"_3# being the alkyl groups and #:# being the lone pair of electrons.

These lone pair of electrons can bond to another molecule by filling a space in an empty orbital.