acceptor (rus. акцептор) — (from Latin acceptor meaning "receiving") - an atom or molecule that accepts an electron, proton or electron pair from a donor.


In broad terms, the acceptor can accept different particles - electrons, protons, or molecules. If the particle type is not specified it is deemed that the accepted particle is an electron.

In physics, an acceptor means an impurity atom in a semiconductor that can capture an electron from the valence band, which is equivalent to the appearance of a hole in it. E.g. B, Al, Ga are typical acceptors for Ge and Si. A point defect in the crystal lattice can also act as an acceptor.

In chemistry, the term "acceptor" primarily refers to a molecule or particle that can accept an electron pair from a donor and form a covalent donor-acceptor bond with it. In the generalised Lewis acid-base theory an acceptor is called a Lewis acid. Typical acceptors are H+ ions, BF3 and AlCl3 molecules. As well as this, acceptors can accept an electron, rather than an electron pair, from donor molecules with low ionisation energy and form charge-transfer complexes with them. These compounds include, for example, organic acceptors with high electron affinity-fullerenes, tetracyanoquinodimethane, etc.

In redox reactions an acceptor is the same thing as an oxidant.

See also donor-acceptor interaction.


  • Eremin Vadim V.
  • Streletskiy Alexey V.


  1. Physical Encyclopedic Dictionary (in Russian). — Moscow: Bol'shaja Rossijjskaja ehnciklopedija, 1995. — 928 pp.
  2. Acceptor // Short Chemical Encyclopedia (in Russian). V. 1. — Moscow: Sovetskaja ehnciklopedija, 1961. p. 110.

Contact us