Electrophile and Nucleophile


What does electrophile and nucleophile mean?


Think of an electrophile as “electron loving” to remember. This is because of the nature of these to form a covalent bond with another molecule. Getting on the definition part, they’re atoms or molecules known to be electron deficient and that carry a partial (or fully) positive charge and will seek an electron pair to form a covalent bond. From organic molecules, they’ll seek an electron pair. This site on these organic molecules are on is called as ‘electron rich’.

In simple terms, nucleophile are the compounds that love the nucleus. It is an ion, or molecule that donates a pair of electrons to form a new bond. From the chapter of acids and bases, you may recognize that a nucleophile is also a Lewis base, an electron pair donor. Some nucleophiles have an unshared electron pair, such as the bromide ion or ammonia. Nucleophiles function as electron pair donors (aka Lewis bases) to create a new bond. They can be negatively charged or they can be uncharged (neutral). Uncharged nucleophiles include compounds with double bonds, which can donate one pair of electrons from the double bond. When a nucleophile reacts with an electrophile, the movement of electrons can be shown with a curved arrow.