Phosphide

In chemistry, a phosphide is a compound of phosphorus with a less electronegative element or elements. Binary compounds are formed with the majority of less electronegative elements with the exception of Hg, Pb, Sb, Bi, Te, Po. Typically there are a range of stoichiometries with each element; for example, potassium has nine phosphides (K3P, K4P3, K5P4, KP, K4P6 K3P7, K3P11, KP10.3, KP15) and nickel has eight (Ni3P, Ni5P2, Ni12P5, NiP2, Ni5P4, NiP, NiP2, NiP3).

Classification of these compounds is difficult. On structural and reactivity grounds they can be broadly classified as:

  • principally ionic with P−
    3 ions. Examples are the group 1 (e.g. Na3P) and group 2 (e.g. Ca3P2) metal phosphides.
  • polyphosphides with, for example, dumbbell P4−
    2 ions; cluster P3−
    11 ions; polymeric chain anions (e.g. the helical (P−)n ion) and complex sheet or 3-D anions.
  • compounds with individual P atoms in a metal lattice that can be semiconducting (e.g. GaP) through to metallic (e.g. TaP) in terms of electrical conductance.

Two polyphosphide ions, P40−
3 found in K4P3 and P5−
4 found in K5P4, are radical anions with an odd number of valence electrons making both compounds paramagnetic.

Read more about Phosphide:  Preparation, Examples, Natural Examples

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