I am a first-year chemistry graduate student and I am currently learning how to synthesize proteins. I have reached a stage in the process where I need to deprotect a carboxylic acid moiety protected by t-butyl using trifluoroacetic acid (TFA). I went online trying to find the mechanism for this step, but in terms of step-wise mechanism with electron movement arrows, the only thing I was able to find was this:
(Taken from here, no references therein)
And my question is: is this truly where the deprotection ends? Does the t-butyl cation remains in solution as pictured?
(I know that a t-butyl cation is considered to be relatively stable on account of it being a tertiary carbocation, but still I was not sure that it can remain in solution like that.)