Last updated
Stereo structural formula of diphosphane with explicit hydrogens Diphosphan.svg
Stereo structural formula of diphosphane with explicit hydrogens
Ball-and-stick model of diphosphane Diphosphane-3D-balls.png
Ball-and-stick model of diphosphane
IUPAC name
Systematic IUPAC name
Diphosphane (substitutive)
Tetrahydridodiphosphorus(PP) (additive)
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
PubChem CID
  • InChI=1S/H4P2/c1-2/h1-2H2 X mark.svgN
  • PP
Molar mass 65.980 g·mol−1
Melting point −99 °C (−146 °F; 174 K)
Boiling point 63.5 °C (146.3 °F; 336.6 K) (Extrapolated, decomposes)
Related compounds
Other anions
Other cations
Related Binary Phosphorus halides
diphosphorus tetrafluoride
diphosphorus tetrachloride
diphosphorus tetrabromide
diphosphorus tetraiodide
Related compounds
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
X mark.svgN  verify  (what is  Yes check.svgYX mark.svgN ?)

Diphosphane, or diphosphine, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula P2H4. This colourless liquid is one of several binary phosphorus hydrides. It is the impurity that typically causes samples of phosphine to ignite in air.


Properties, preparation, reactions

Diphosphane adopts the gauche conformation (like hydrazine, less symmetrical than shown in the image) with a P−P distance of 2.219 angstroms. It is nonbasic, unstable at room temperature, and spontaneously flammable in air. It is only poorly soluble in water but dissolves in organic solvents. Its 1H NMR spectrum consists of 32 lines resulting from an A2XX'A'2 splitting system. [1]

Diphosphane is produced by the hydrolysis of calcium monophosphide, which can be described as the Ca2+ derivative of P4−2. According to an optimized procedure, hydrolysis of 400 g of CaP at −30 °C gives about 20 g of product, slightly contaminated with phosphine.

Reaction of diphosphane with butyllithium affords a variety of condensed polyphosphine compounds.

Organic diphosphanes

A variety of organic derivatives of diphosphane are known. These species are prepared by reductive coupling, e.g. tetraphenyldiphosphine from chlorodiphenylphosphine:

2 ClPPh2 + 2 Na → Ph2P−PPh2 + 2 NaCl

The methyl compound P2Me4 is prepared by the reduction of Me2P(S)−P(S)Me2, which is produced by methylation of thiophosphoryl chloride with methylmagnesium bromide. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Phosphine</span> Chemical compound hydrogen phosphide

Phosphine is a colorless, flammable, highly toxic compound with the chemical formula PH3, classed as a pnictogen hydride. Pure phosphine is odorless, but technical grade samples have a highly unpleasant odor like rotting fish, due to the presence of substituted phosphine and diphosphane. With traces of P2H4 present, PH3 is spontaneously flammable in air (pyrophoric), burning with a luminous flame. Phosphine is a highly toxic respiratory poison, and is immediately dangerous to life or health at 50 ppm. Phosphine has a trigonal pyramidal structure.

In organic chemistry, an acyl chloride is an organic compound with the functional group −C(=O)Cl. Their formula is usually written R−COCl, where R is a side chain. They are reactive derivatives of carboxylic acids. A specific example of an acyl chloride is acetyl chloride, CH3COCl. Acyl chlorides are the most important subset of acyl halides.

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

Sodium borohydride, also known as sodium tetrahydridoborate and sodium tetrahydroborate, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaBH4. This white solid, usually encountered as an aqueous basic solution, is a reducing agent that finds application in papermaking and dye industries. It is also used as a reagent in organic synthesis.

In polyatomic cations with the chemical formula PR+
. These cations have tetrahedral structures. The salts are generally colorless or take the color of the anions.

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

Triphenylphosphine (IUPAC name: triphenylphosphane) is a common organophosphorus compound with the formula P(C6H5)3 and often abbreviated to PPh3 or Ph3P. It is widely used in the synthesis of organic and organometallic compounds. PPh3 exists as relatively air stable, colorless crystals at room temperature. It dissolves in non-polar organic solvents such as benzene and diethyl ether.

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

Rhodium(III) chloride refers to inorganic compounds with the formula RhCl3(H2O)n, where n varies from 0 to 3. These are diamagnetic solids featuring octahedral Rh(III) centres. Depending on the value of n, the material is either a dense brown solid or a soluble reddish salt. The soluble trihydrated (n = 3) salt is widely used to prepare compounds used in homogeneous catalysis, notably for the industrial production of acetic acid and hydroformylation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dicarbonyltris(triphenylphosphine)ruthenium(0)</span> Chemical compound

Dicarbonyltris(triphenylphosphine)ruthenium(0) or Roper's complex is a ruthenium metal carbonyl. In it, two carbon monoxide ligands and three triphenylphosphine ligands are coordinated to a central ruthenium(0) center.

Organophosphorus chemistry is the scientific study of the synthesis and properties of organophosphorus compounds, which are organic compounds containing phosphorus. They are used primarily in pest control as an alternative to chlorinated hydrocarbons that persist in the environment. Some organophosphorus compounds are highly effective insecticides, although some are extremely toxic to humans, including sarin and VX nerve agents.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1,2-Bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane</span> Chemical compound

1,2-Bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane (dppe) is an organophosphorus compound with the formula (Ph2PCH2)2 (Ph = phenyl). It is a commonly used bidentate ligand in coordination chemistry. It is a white solid that is soluble in organic solvents.

Disilane is a chemical compound with chemical formula Si2H6 that was identified in 1902 by Henri Moissan and Samuel Smiles (1877–1953). Moissan and Smiles reported disilane as being among the products formed by the action of dilute acids on metal silicides. Although these reactions had been previously investigated by Friedrich Woehler and Heinrich Buff between 1857 and 1858, Moissan and Smiles were the first to explicitly identify disilane. They referred to disilane as silicoethane. Higher members of the homologous series SinH2n+2 formed in these reactions were subsequently identified by Carl Somiesky (sometimes spelled "Karl Somieski") and Alfred Stock.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Phosphine oxide</span> Class of chemical compounds

Phosphine oxides are phosphorus compounds with the formula OPX3. When X = alkyl or aryl, these are organophosphine oxides. Triphenylphosphine oxide is an example. An inorganic phosphine oxide is phosphoryl chloride (POCl3).

Organophosphines are organophosphorus compounds with the formula PRnH3−n, where R is an organic substituent. These compounds can be classified according to the value of n: primary phosphines (n = 1), secondary phosphines (n = 2), tertiary phosphines (n = 3). All adopt pyramidal structures. Organophosphines are generally colorless, lipophilic liquids or solids. The parent of the organophosphines is phosphine (PH3).

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

Diphenylphosphine, also known as diphenylphosphane, is an organophosphorus compound with the formula (C6H5)2PH. This foul-smelling, colorless liquid is easily oxidized in air. It is a precursor to organophosphorus ligands for use as catalysts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chloro(cyclopentadienyl)bis(triphenylphosphine)ruthenium</span> Chemical compound

Chloro(cyclopentadienyl)bis(triphenylphosphine)ruthenium is the organoruthenium half-sandwich compound with formula RuCl(PPh3)2(C5H5). It as an air-stable orange crystalline solid that is used in a variety of organometallic synthetic and catalytic transformations. The compound has idealized Cs symmetry. It is soluble in chloroform, dichloromethane, and acetone.

Organoiron chemistry is the chemistry of iron compounds containing a carbon-to-iron chemical bond. Organoiron compounds are relevant in organic synthesis as reagents such as iron pentacarbonyl, diiron nonacarbonyl and disodium tetracarbonylferrate. While iron adopts oxidation states from Fe(−II) through to Fe(VII), Fe(IV) is the highest established oxidation state for organoiron species. Although iron is generally less active in many catalytic applications, it is less expensive and "greener" than other metals. Organoiron compounds feature a wide range of ligands that support the Fe-C bond; as with other organometals, these supporting ligands prominently include phosphines, carbon monoxide, and cyclopentadienyl, but hard ligands such as amines are employed as well.

Organoplatinum chemistry is the chemistry of organometallic compounds containing a carbon to platinum chemical bond, and the study of platinum as a catalyst in organic reactions. Organoplatinum compounds exist in oxidation state 0 to IV, with oxidation state II most abundant. The general order in bond strength is Pt-C (sp) > Pt-O > Pt-N > Pt-C (sp3). Organoplatinum and organopalladium chemistry are similar, but organoplatinum compounds are more stable and therefore less useful as catalysts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metal-phosphine complex</span>

A metal-phosphine complex is a coordination complex containing one or more phosphine ligands. Almost always, the phosphine is an organophosphine of the type R3P (R = alkyl, aryl). Metal phosphine complexes are useful in homogeneous catalysis. Prominent examples of metal phosphine complexes include Wilkinson's catalyst (Rh(PPh3)3Cl), Grubbs' catalyst, and tetrakis(triphenylphosphine)palladium(0).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tris(triphenylphosphine)rhodium carbonyl hydride</span> Chemical compound

Carbonyl hydrido tris(triphenylphosphine)rhodium(I) [Carbonyl(hydrido)tris(triphenylphosphane)rhodium(I)] is an organorhodium compound with the formula [RhH(CO)(PPh3)3] (Ph = C6H5). It is a yellow, benzene-soluble solid, which is used industrially for hydroformylation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transition metal boryl complex</span>

In chemistry, a transition metal boryl complex is a molecular species with a formally anionic boron center coordinated to a transition metal. They have the formula LnM-BR2 or LnM-(BR2LB) (L = ligand, R = H, organic substituent, LB = Lewis base). One example is (C5Me5)Mn(CO)2(BH2PMe3) (Me = methyl). Such compounds, especially those derived from catecholborane and the related pinacolborane, are intermediates in transition metal-catalyzed borylation reactions.

Niobium(III) chloride also known as niobium trichloride is a compound of niobium and chlorine. The binary phase NbCl3 is not well characterized but many adducts are known.


  1. Marianne Baudler, Klaus Glinka (1993). "Monocyclic and polycyclic phosphines". Chem. Rev. 93 (4): 1623–1667. doi:10.1021/cr00020a010.
  2. Butter, S. A.; Chatt, J. (1974). "Ethylenebis(dimethylphosphine)". Inorg. Synth. 15: 185. doi:10.1002/9780470132463.ch41.