posted by Sarah .
Nucleophile or electrophile?
At first, I thought that they were both Nucleophiles, but now Ive confused myself and Im not sure.. Please help!
Nucleophiles are Lewis bases; i.e., electron pair donors.
This link may help.
So anions are nucleophiles.
So CH3COO- is a nucleophile. It has a extra electron pair on the O- that can be donated.
But, doesnt CH3COOH also have extra valence electrons on the two O atoms that could be donated. So is it also a nucleophile, even though it does not have a negative charge?
It might be easier to see if you ionize the RCOOH to RCOO^- + H^+, then of course the RCOO^- is a nucleophile. But I think with the H^+ ATTACHED, it would be a weaker (much weaker?) nucleophile than when it exists as the anion alone.