Electron Acceptor

An electron acceptor is a chemical entity that accepts electrons transferred to it from another compound. It is an oxidizing agent that, by virtue of its accepting electrons, is itself reduced in the process.

Typical oxidizing agents undergo permanent chemical alteration through covalent or ionic reaction chemistry, resulting in the complete and irreversible transfer of one or more electrons. In many chemical circumstances, however, the transfer of electronic charge from an electron donor may be only fractional, meaning an electron is not completely transferred, but results in an electron resonance between the donor and acceptor. This leads to the formation of charge transfer complexes in which the components largely retain their chemical identities.

The electron accepting power of an acceptor molecule is measured by its electron affinity which is the energy released when filling the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO).

The overall energy balance (ΔE), i.e., energy gained or lost, in an electron donor-acceptor transfer is determined by the difference between the acceptor's electron affinity (A) and the ionization potential (I) of the electron donor:


In chemistry, a class of electron acceptors that acquire not just one, but a set of two paired electrons that form a covalent bond with an electron donor molecule, is known as a Lewis acid. This phenomenon gives rise to the wide field of Lewis acid-base chemistry. The driving forces for electron donor and acceptor behavior in chemistry is based on the concepts of electropositivity (for donors) and electronegativity (for acceptors) of atomic or molecular entities.

Read more about Electron Acceptor:  Examples

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Halogen Bond - Bonding
... In both cases, D (donor) is the atom, group, or molecule that is electron rich and donates them to the electron poor species (H or X) ... A (acceptor) is the electron poor species withdrawing the electron density from H or X, accordingly ... bond donors, accordingly, and D is HB/XB acceptor ...
Polyphosphate-accumulating Organisms
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... If an electron of the special pair in the reaction center becomes excited, it cannot transfer this energy to another pigment using resonance energy transfer ... In normal circumstances, the electron should return to the ground state, but, because the reaction center is arranged so that a suitable electron acceptor is ... results in the formation of a positive charge on the special pair (due to the loss of an electron) and a negative charge on the acceptor and is, hence, referred to as ...
Electron Acceptor - Examples
... Examples of electron acceptors include oxygen, nitrate, iron (III), manganese (IV), sulfate, carbon dioxide, or in some microorganisms the chlorinated solvents such as tetrachloroethylene (PCE ... In biology, a terminal electron acceptor is a compound that receives or accepts an electron during cellular respiration or photosynthesis ... All organisms obtain energy by transferring electrons from an electron donor to an electron acceptor ...
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