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.H.G. Von Schnering, W. Hönle "Phosphides - Solid state chemistry" Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry Ed. R. Bruce King (1994) John wiley & Sons ISBN 0 471 93620 0 ] 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 is difficult, [ Greenwood&Earnshaw] on structural and reactivity grounds they can be broadly classified::
*principally ionic with P3 ions. these are the group 1 (M3P e.g. Na3P) and group 2 metal (M3P2 e.g. Ca3P2)
*polyphosphides with for example dumbbell P24 ions; cluster ion, P113; polymeric chain anions (e.g. (the helical (P)n 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 in conduction e.g. TaP ["Chemical vapour deposition of group Vb metal phosphide thin films" C. S. Blackman, C. J. Carmalt, S. A. O'Neill, I. P. Parkin, K. C. Molloy and L. Apostolico J. Mater. Chem., 2003, 13, 1930 - 1935, doi|10.1039/b304084b]

Two polyphosphide ions P34 found in K4P3, and P45, found in in K5P4 are radical anions with an odd number of valence electrons making both compounds paramagnetic.


"See also "

*Aluminium phosphide (AlP)
*Indium phosphide (InP)
*Calcium phosphide (Ca3P2)
*Copper phosphide (Cu3P)
*Magnesium phosphide (Mg3P2)


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