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Lewis bases are compounds which can donate a lone pair of electrons to form a new bond with a Lewis acid. All Brønsted-Lowry bases are Lewis bases, as they can accept protons as well as other electron deficient species.
Lewis bases are split in three categories:
- amines of the formula NH3−xRx, where R = alkyl or aryl. Pyridine and its derivatives are also included here.
- phosphines of the formula PR3−xAx, where R = alkyl, A = aryl.
- compounds of O, S, Se and Te in oxidation state 2, including water, ethers, ketones.
Examples of Lewis bases are conventional amines, such as ammonia and all alkyl amines, organic compounds containing a nitrogen atom (where the nitrogen is in the +3 oxidation state) such as pyridine and its derivatives.