Phosphorus pentachloride

Phosphorus Pentachloride

Phosphorus pentachloride

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Phosphorus pentachloride is the chemical compound with the formula PCl<sub>5</sub>. It is one of the most important phosphorus chlorides, others being PCl<sub>3</sub> and POCl<sub>3</sub>. PCl<sub>5</sub> finds use as a chlorinating reagent. It is a colourless, water-sensitive solid, although commercial samples can be yellowish and contaminated with hydrogen chloride.


The structures for the phosphorus chlorides are invariably consistent with VSEPR theory. The structure of PCl<sub>5</sub> depends on its environment. Gaseous and molten PCl<sub>5</sub> is a neutral molecule with trigonal bipyramidal (D<sub>3h</sub>) symmetry. The hypervalent nature of this species (as well as for PCl, see below) can be explained with three-center four-electron bonding model. This trigonal bipyramidal structure persists in non-polar solvents, such as CS<sub>2</sub> and CCl<sub>4</sub>.

In solutions of polar solvents, PCl<sub>5</sub> undergoes...
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