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Triethylsilyl Perfluoro-Tetraphenylborate, [Et3Si+][F20-BPh4 –], a Widely Used Nonexistent Compound

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The commonly used triethylsilyl per-fluoro-tetraphenylborate salt, [Et(3)Si(+)][F(20)-BPh(4) (-)], has been misidentified. As prepared, the cation is a hydride-bridged silane adduct [R(3)Si-H-SiR(3) (+)]. Under favorable circumstances it can be an effective source of the triethylsilylium ion Et(3)Si(+) but in the absence of a stabilizing base the potent electrophilicity of Et(3)Si(+) decomposes the "inert" F(20)-BPh(4) (-) counterion.

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