Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Riverside

UC Riverside Previously Published Works bannerUC Riverside

The Strongest Acid: Protonation of Carbon Dioxide


The strongest carborane acid, H(CHB11F11), protonates CO2 while traditional mixed Lewis/Brønsted superacids do not. The product is deduced from IR spectroscopy and calculation to be the proton disolvate, H(CO2)2(+). The carborane acid H(CHB11F11) is therefore the strongest known acid. The failure of traditional mixed superacids to protonate weak bases such as CO2 can be traced to a competition between the proton and the Lewis acid for the added base. The high protic acidity promised by large absolute values of the Hammett acidity function (H0) is not realized in practice because the basicity of an added base is suppressed by Lewis acid/base adduct formation.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View