What is the difference between a base and a nucleophile?

What is the difference between a base and a nucleophile?

Grade:Upto college level

1 Answers

Badiuddin askIITians.ismu Expert
148 Points
13 years ago

Dear sudarshan

Nucleophilicity and electrophilicity are kinetic descriptions. Basicity and acidity are thermodynamic descriptions. Under irreversible (i.e. kinetic) conditions, stronger nucleophiles and stronger electrophiles form the products. Under reversible, equilibrium (i.e. thermodynamic) conditions, stronger bases and acids form the products, although at first, the nucleophiles might react to form an intermediate species.

bases abstract hydrogens and nucleophiles attack carbons (electrophiles)
all nucleophiles are bases, but not all bases can act as nucleophiles.
you should pay attention to steric that can prevent attacking carbon forcing the nucleophile to act as a base abstracting hydrogen

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