Osmium(IV) chloride

Last updated
Osmium(IV) chloride
IUPAC name
Osmium(IV) chloride
Other names
Osmium chloride, osmium tetrachloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.151.226 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
PubChem CID
  • InChI=1S/4ClH.Os/h4*1H;/q;;;;+4/p-4
  • Cl[Os](Cl)(Cl)Cl
Molar mass 332.041 g/mol
Appearancered-black orthorhombic crystals
Density 4.38 g/cm3
Melting point decomposes at 323°C
reacts with water
Solubility soluble in hydrochloric acid
Orthorhombic, oS10
Cmmm, No. 65
Related compounds
Other anions
Osmium tetrabromide
Other cations
Iron(III) chloride
Ruthenium(III) chloride
Osmium(III) chloride
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 ?)
Infobox references

Osmium(IV) chloride or osmium tetrachloride is the inorganic compound composed of osmium and chlorine with the empirical formula OsCl4. It exists in two polymorphs (crystalline forms). The compound is used to prepare other osmium complexes.

Preparation, structure, reactions

It was first reported in 1909 as the product of chlorination of osmium metal. [1] This route affords the high temperature polymorph: [2]

Os + 2 Cl2 → OsCl4

This reddish-black polymorph is orthorhombic and adopts a structure in which osmium centres are octahedrally coordinated, sharing opposite edges of the OsCl6 octahedra to form a chain. [3] A brown, apparently cubic polymorph forms upon reduction of osmium tetroxide with thionyl chloride: [4]

OsO4 + 4 SOCl2 → OsCl4 + 2 Cl2 + 4 SO2

Osmium tetraoxide dissolves in hydrochloric acid to give the hexachloroosmate anion:

OsO4 + 10 HCl → H2OsCl6 + 2 Cl2 + 4 H2O

Related Research Articles

Osmium tetroxide Chemical compound

Osmium tetroxide (also osmium(VIII) oxide) is the chemical compound with the formula OsO4. The compound is noteworthy for its many uses, despite its toxicity and the rarity of osmium. It also has a number of unusual properties, one being that the solid is volatile. The compound is colourless, but most samples appear yellow. This is most likely due to the presence of the impurity OsO2, which is yellow-brown in colour. In biology, its property of binding to lipids has made it a widely-used stain in electron microscopy.

Silicon tetrachloride or tetrachlorosilane is the inorganic compound with the formula SiCl4. It is a colourless volatile liquid that fumes in air. It is used to produce high purity silicon and silica for commercial applications.

Zinc chloride Chemical compound

Zinc chloride is the name of chemical compounds with the formula ZnCl2 and its hydrates. Zinc chlorides, of which nine crystalline forms are known, are colorless or white, and are highly soluble in water. This white salt is hygroscopic and even deliquescent. Samples should therefore be protected from sources of moisture, including the water vapor present in ambient air. Zinc chloride finds wide application in textile processing, metallurgical fluxes, and chemical synthesis. No mineral with this chemical composition is known aside from the very rare mineral simonkolleite, Zn5(OH)8Cl2·H2O.

Titanium tetrachloride Inorganic chemical compound

Titanium tetrachloride is the inorganic compound with the formula TiCl4. It is an important intermediate in the production of titanium metal and the pigment titanium dioxide. TiCl4 is a volatile liquid. Upon contact with humid air, it forms spectacular opaque clouds of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and hydrated hydrogen chloride. It is sometimes referred to as "tickle" or "tickle 4" due to the phonetic resemblance of its molecular formula (TiCl4) to the word.

Tin(IV) chloride, also known as tin tetrachloride or stannic chloride, is an inorganic compound with the formula SnCl4. It is a colorless hygroscopic liquid, which fumes on contact with air. It is used as a precursor to other tin compounds. It was first discovered by Andreas Libavius (1550–1616) and was known as spiritus fumans libavii.

Iridium(III) chloride Chemical compound

Iridium(III) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula IrCl3. The anhydrous compound is relatively rare, but the related hydrate is useful for preparing other iridium compounds. The anhydrous salt is a dark green crystalline solid. More commonly encountered is the trihydrate IrCl3(H2O)3.

Hafnium tetrachloride Chemical compound

Hafnium(IV) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula HfCl4. This colourless solid is the precursor to most hafnium organometallic compounds. It has a variety of highly specialized applications, mainly in materials science and as a catalyst.

Boron trichloride is the inorganic compound with the formula BCl3. This colorless gas is a reagent in organic synthesis. It is highly reactive toward water.

Zirconium(IV) chloride Chemical compound

Zirconium(IV) chloride, also known as zirconium tetrachloride, is an inorganic compound frequently used as a precursor to other compounds of zirconium. This white high-melting solid hydrolyzes rapidly in humid air.

Titanium(III) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula TiCl3. At least four distinct species have this formula; additionally hydrated derivatives are known. TiCl3 is one of the most common halides of titanium and is an important catalyst for the manufacture of polyolefins.

Thorium(IV) chloride Chemical compound

Thorium(IV) chloride describes a family of inorganic compounds with the formula ThCl4(H2O)n. Both the anhydrous and tetrahydrate (n = 4) forms are known. They are hygroscopic, water-soluble white solids.

Trirhenium nonachloride Chemical compound

Trirhenium nonachloride is a compound with the formula ReCl3, sometimes also written Re3Cl9. It is a dark red hygroscopic solid that is insoluble in ordinary solvents. The compound is important in the history of inorganic chemistry as an early example of a cluster compound with metal-metal bonds. It is used as a starting material for synthesis of other rhenium complexes.

Selenium tetrachloride Chemical compound

Selenium tetrachloride is the inorganic compound composed with the formula SeCl4. This compound exists as yellow to white volatile solid. It is one of two commonly available selenium chlorides, the other example being selenium monochloride, Se2Cl2. SeCl4 is used in the synthesis of other selenium compounds.

Technetium(IV) chloride Chemical compound

Technetium(IV) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula TcCl4. It was discovered in 1957 as the first binary halide of technetium. It is the highest oxidation binary chloride of technetium that has been isolated as a solid. It is volatile at elevated temperatures and its volatility has been used for separating technetium from other metal chlorides. Colloidal solutions of technetium(IV) chloride are oxidized to form Tc(VII) ions when exposed to gamma rays.

Germanium dichloride is a chemical compound of germanium and chlorine with the formula GeCl2. It is a solid and contains germanium in the +2 oxidation state.

Zirconium(III) chloride Chemical compound

Zirconium(III) chloride is an inorganic compound with formula ZrCl3. It is a blue-black solid that is highly sensitive to air.

Metal halides

Metal halides are compounds between metals and halogens. Some, such as sodium chloride are ionic, while others are covalently bonded. A few metal halides are discrete molecules, such as uranium hexafluoride, but most adopt polymeric structures, such as palladium chloride.

Lead(IV) chloride Chemical compound

Lead tetrachloride, also known as lead(IV) chloride, has the molecular formula PbCl4. It is a yellow, oily liquid which is stable below 0 °C, and decomposes at 50 °C. It has a tetrahedral configuration, with lead as the central atom. The Pb–Cl covalent bonds have been measured to be 247 pm and the bond energy is 243 kJ⋅mol−1.

Molybdenum(III) chloride Chemical compound

Molybdenum(III) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula MoCl3. It forms purple crystals.

Transition metal chloride complex Coordination complex

In chemistry, a transition metal chloride complex is a coordination complex that consists of a transition metal coordinated to one or more chloride ligand. The class of complexes is extensive.


  1. Otto Ruff and Ferd. Bornemann (1910). "Über das Osmium, seine analytische Bestimmung, seine Oxyde und seine Chloride". Zeitschrift für anorganische Chemie . 65: 429–456. doi:10.1002/zaac.19100650126.
  2. Cotton, S. A. (1997). Chemistry of Precious Metals. London: Chapman and Hall. ISBN   0-7514-0413-6.
  3. Wells A.F. (1984). Structural Inorganic Chemistry (5th ed.). Oxford Science Publications. ISBN   0-19-855370-6.
  4. Paul Machmer (1967). "On the polymorphism of osmium tetrachloride". Chem. Commun. (12): 610a. doi:10.1039/C1967000610A.