What are electron deficient compounds explain with example?

Electrons plays a significant role in the formation of a compound. Electron rich and electron-deficient both have variant roles. Let us know about electron-deficient compounds.

Definition- Electron deficient

An electron-deficient compound is one in which there is an insufficient number of electrons to complete the octet of the central atom. These compounds contain insufficient numbers of electrons to form normal electron-pair bonds between each pair of bonded atoms.


The compounds containing less than 8 electrons in the valence shells are called electron-deficient compounds such as B2F6, Al2Cl6, etc. On the other hand, the compounds containing more than 8 electrons in the valence shells may be called electron surplus compounds example, SF6, O8F8, etc.

Boron family as an example

For example, boron which has electronic configuration [He], 2s22p1 forms compounds which are described as electron-deficient compounds.

  • Boron has only three valence electrons but has four available orbitals and to accommodate these electrons.
  • Other members of the boron family namely aluminium, gallium, indium and thallium show a tendency to lose their valence electrons to form ionic M3+ species in their compounds.

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