Phosphorus halides

Phosphorus Halides

Phosphorus halides

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There are three series of binary phosphorus halides, containing phosphorus in the oxidation states +5, +3 and +2. All twelve compounds have been described, in varying degrees of detail, although serious doubts have been cast on the existence of PI<sub>5</sub>.I. Tornieporth-Getting & T. Klapötke, J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun. 1990, 132.

Oxidation state +5 (PX<sub>5</sub>)



Phosphorus pentafluoride is a relatively inert gas, notable as a mild Lewis acid and a fluoride ion acceptor. It is fluxional molecule. Phosphorus pentachloride and phosphorus pentabromide are ionic in the solid and liquid states, PCl<sub>5</sub> is formulated PCl<sub>4</sub><sup>+</sup>PCl<sub>6</sub><sup>&ndash;</sup> and in contrast PBr<sub>5</sub> is formulated PBr<sub>4</sub><sup>+</sup> Br<sup>−</sup>. They are widely used as chlorinating and brominating agents in organic chemistry.

Oxidation state +3 (PX<sub>3</sub>)



The phosphorus(III) halides are the best known of the three series. They are usually prepared by direct reaction of the elements, or by transhalogenation.

Phosphorus trifluoride is used as a ligand in coordination chemistry, where it resembles carbon monoxide. Phosphorus trichloride is a major industrial chemical and widely-used starting material for phosphorus chemistry. Phosphorus tribromide is used in...
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