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Tetrafluoroborate is the anion BF4-, which has a tetrahedral geometry. A few examples of inorganic tetrafluoroborates are: Cu(BF4)2, AgBF4, and Fe(BF4)2. Examples for metal complex tetrafluoroborates include, but are not limited to, tetrakis(acetonitrile)silver(I) tetrafluoroborate, 2,6-bis[(di-tert-butylphosphino)-methyl]pyridine silver(I) tetrafluoroborate, and tetrakis(acetonitrile)copper(I) tetrafluoroborate.
Salts of tetrafluoroborate are more soluble in organic solvents than the corresponding nitrate or halide salts. The BF4- is less nucleophilic and basic than nitrates and halides, thus, when using salts of BF4-, one can usually assume that the cation is the reactive agent and the tetrahedral anion is inert.
The inertness of BF4- is due to two factors:
Inorganic or metal complex tetrafluoroborates are used in organic synthesis as catalysts. Inorganic tetrafluoroborates are used in photography. Metal complexes having tetrafuoroborates possess a phosphorescent property and hence they have the capacity to be used in light emitting diodes (LED).