Last updated
IUPAC name
Other names
bismuth trihydride
hydrogen bismuthide
3D model (JSmol)
PubChem CID
  • InChI=1S/Bi.3H X mark.svgN
  • InChI=1/Bi.3H/rBiH3/h1H3
  • [BiH3]
Molar mass 212.00 g/mol
Appearancecolourless gas
Density 0.008665 g/mL (20 °C)
Boiling point 16.8 °C (62.2 °F; 289.9 K) (extrapolated)
Conjugate acid Bismuthonium
trigonal pyramidal
Related compounds
Related hydrides
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Bismuthine (IUPAC name: bismuthane) is the chemical compound with the formula BiH3. As the heaviest analogue of ammonia (a pnictogen hydride), BiH3 is unstable, decomposing to bismuth metal well below 0 °C. This compound adopts the expected pyramidal structure with H–Bi–H angles of around 90°. [1]


The term bismuthine may also refer to a member of the family of organobismuth(III) species having the general formula BiR
, where R is an organic substituent. For example, Bi(CH3)3 is trimethylbismuthine.

Preparation and properties

BiH3 is prepared by the redistribution of methylbismuthine (BiH2Me): [2]

3 BiH2Me → 2 BiH3 + BiMe3

The required BiH2Me, which is also thermally unstable, is generated by reduction of methylbismuth dichloride, BiCl2Me with LiAlH4. [1]

As suggested by the behavior of SbH3, BiH3 is unstable and decomposes to its constituent elements according to the following equation:

2 BiH3 → 3 H2 + 2 Bi  Ho
(gas) = −278 kJ/mol)

The methodology used for detection of arsenic ("Marsh test") can also be used to detect BiH3. This test relies on the thermal decomposition of these trihydrides to the metallic mirrors of reduced As, Sb, and Bi. These deposits can be further distinguished by their distinctive solubility characteristics: arsenic dissolves in NaOCl, antimony dissolves in ammonium polysulfide, and bismuth resists both reagents. [2]

Uses and safety considerations

The low stability of BiH3 precludes significant health effects, it decomposes rapidly well below room temperature.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pnictogen</span> Group 15 elements of the periodic table with valency 5

A pnictogen is any of the chemical elements in group 15 of the periodic table. Group 15 is also known as the nitrogen group or nitrogen family. Group 15 consists of the elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), bismuth (Bi), and moscovium (Mc).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arsine</span> Chemical compound

Arsine (IUPAC name: arsane) is an inorganic compound with the formula AsH3. This flammable, pyrophoric, and highly toxic pnictogen hydride gas is one of the simplest compounds of arsenic. Despite its lethality, it finds some applications in the semiconductor industry and for the synthesis of organoarsenic compounds. The term arsine is commonly used to describe a class of organoarsenic compounds of the formula AsH3−xRx, where R = aryl or alkyl. For example, As(C6H5)3, called triphenylarsine, is referred to as "an arsine".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stibine</span> Chemical compound

Stibine (IUPAC name: stibane) is a chemical compound with the formula SbH3. A pnictogen hydride, this colourless, highly toxic gas is the principal covalent hydride of antimony, and a heavy analogue of ammonia. The molecule is pyramidal with H–Sb–H angles of 91.7° and Sb–H distances of 170.7 pm (1.707 Å). This gas has an offensive smell like hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth(III) oxide</span> Chemical compound

Bismuth(III) oxide is perhaps the most industrially important compound of bismuth. It is also a common starting point for bismuth chemistry. It is found naturally as the mineral bismite (monoclinic) and sphaerobismoite, but it is usually obtained as a by-product of the smelting of copper and lead ores. Dibismuth trioxide is commonly used to produce the "Dragon's eggs" effect in fireworks, as a replacement of red lead.

Bromine compounds are compounds containing the element bromine (Br). These compounds usually form the -1, +1, +3 and +5 oxidation states. Bromine is intermediate in reactivity between chlorine and iodine, and is one of the most reactive elements. Bond energies to bromine tend to be lower than those to chlorine but higher than those to iodine, and bromine is a weaker oxidising agent than chlorine but a stronger one than iodine. This can be seen from the standard electrode potentials of the X2/X couples (F, +2.866 V; Cl, +1.395 V; Br, +1.087 V; I, +0.615 V; At, approximately +0.3 V). Bromination often leads to higher oxidation states than iodination but lower or equal oxidation states to chlorination. Bromine tends to react with compounds including M–M, M–H, or M–C bonds to form M–Br bonds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth chloride</span> Chemical compound

Bismuth chloride (or butter of bismuth) is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula BiCl3. It is a covalent compound and is the common source of the Bi3+ ion. In the gas phase and in the crystal, the species adopts a pyramidal structure, in accord with VSEPR theory.

Trimethylarsine (abbreviated TMA or TMAs) is the chemical compound with the formula (CH3)3As, commonly abbreviated AsMe3 or TMAs. This organic derivative of arsine has been used as a source of arsenic in microelectronics industry, a building block to other organoarsenic compounds, and serves as a ligand in coordination chemistry. It has distinct "garlic"-like smell. Trimethylarsine had been discovered as early as 1854.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth trifluoride</span> Chemical compound

Bismuth(III) fluoride or bismuth trifluoride is a chemical compound of bismuth and fluorine. The chemical formula is BiF3. It is a grey-white powder melting at 649 °C.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth(III) iodide</span> Chemical compound

Bismuth(III) iodide is the inorganic compound with the formula BiI3. This gray-black salt is the product of the reaction of bismuth and iodine, which once was of interest in qualitative inorganic analysis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth</span> Chemical element, symbol Bi and atomic number 83

Bismuth is a chemical element with the symbol Bi and atomic number 83. It is a post-transition metal and one of the pnictogens, with chemical properties resembling its lighter group 15 siblings arsenic and antimony. Elemental bismuth occurs naturally, and its sulfide and oxide forms are important commercial ores. The free element is 86% as dense as lead. It is a brittle metal with a silvery-white color when freshly produced. Surface oxidation generally gives samples of the metal a somewhat rosy cast. Further oxidation under heat can give bismuth a vividly iridescent appearance due to thin-film interference. Bismuth is both the most diamagnetic element and one of the least thermally conductive metals known.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dinitrogen difluoride</span> Chemical compound

Dinitrogen difluoride is a chemical compound with the formula N2F2. It is a gas at room temperature, and was first identified in 1952 as the thermal decomposition product of the azide FN3. It has the structure F−N=N−F and exists in both a cis- and trans-form.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Organobismuth chemistry</span>

Organobismuth chemistry is the chemistry of organometallic compounds containing a carbon to bismuth chemical bond. Applications are few. The main bismuth oxidation states are Bi(III) and Bi(V) as in all higher group 15 elements. The energy of a bond to carbon in this group decreases in the order P > As > Sb > Bi. The first reported use of bismuth in organic chemistry was in oxidation of alcohols by Frederick Challenger in 1934 (using Ph3Bi(OH)2). Knowledge about methylated species of bismuth in environmental and biological media is limited.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Quaternary compound</span> Chemical compound made of four elements

In chemistry, a quaternary compound is a compound consisting of exactly four chemical elements.

Bismuth oxynitrate is the name applied to a number of compounds that contain Bi3+, nitrate ions and oxide ions and which can be considered as compounds formed from Bi2O3, N2O5 and H2O. Other names for bismuth oxynitrate include bismuth subnitrate and bismuthyl nitrate. In older texts bismuth oxynitrate is often simply described as BiONO3 or basic bismuth nitrate. Bismuth oxynitrate was once called magisterium bismuti or bismutum subnitricum, and was used as a white pigment, in beauty care, and as a gentle disinfectant for internal and external use. It is also used to form Dragendorff's reagent, which is used as a TLC stain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth(III) nitrate</span> Chemical compound

Bismuth(III) nitrate is a salt composed of bismuth in its cationic +3 oxidation state and nitrate anions. The most common solid form is the pentahydrate. It is used in the synthesis of other bismuth compounds. It is available commercially. It is the only nitrate salt formed by a group 15 element, indicative of bismuth's metallic nature.

Pnictogen hydrides or hydrogen pnictides are binary compounds of hydrogen with pnictogen atoms covalently bonded to hydrogen.

Europium(III) iodide is an inorganic compound containing europium and iodine with the chemical formula EuI3.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuth compounds</span>

Bismuth compounds are compounds containing the element bismuth (Bi). Bismuth forms trivalent and pentavalent compounds, the trivalent ones being more common. Many of its chemical properties are similar to those of arsenic and antimony, although they are less toxic than derivatives of those lighter elements.

Americium compounds are compounds containing the element americium (Am). These compounds can form in the +2, +3 and +4, although the +3 oxidation state is the most common. The +5, +6 and +7 oxidation states have also been reported.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bismuthinidene</span> Class of organobismuth compounds

Bismuthinidenes are a class of organobismuth compounds, analogous to carbenes. These compounds have the general form R-Bi, with two lone pairs of electrons on the central bismuth(I) atom. Due to the unusually low valency and oxidation state of +1, most bismuthinidenes are reactive and unstable, though in recent decades, both transition metals and polydentate chelating Lewis base ligands have been employed to stabilize the low-valent bismuth(I) center through steric protection and π donation either in solution or in crystal structures. Lewis base-stabilized bismuthinidenes adopt a singlet ground state with an inert lone pair of electrons in the 6s orbital. A second lone pair in a 6p orbital and a single empty 6p orbital make Lewis base-stabilized bismuthinidenes ambiphilic.


  1. 1 2 W. Jerzembeck; H. Bürger; L. Constantin; L. Margulès; J. Demaison; J. Breidung; W. Thiel (2002). "Bismuthine BiH3: Fact or Fiction? High-Resolution Infrared, Millimeter-Wave, and Ab Initio Studies". Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 41 (14): 2550–2552. doi:10.1002/1521-3773(20020715)41:14<2550::AID-ANIE2550>3.0.CO;2-B. PMID   12203530. Archived from the original on 2013-01-05.
  2. 1 2 Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. "Inorganic Chemistry" Academic Press: San Diego, 2001. ISBN   0-12-352651-5.