phosphorus(V) chloride

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A yellow-white rhombic solid, PCl5, which fumes in air; r.d. 4.65; m.p. 166.8°C (under pressure); sublimes at 160–162°C. It is decomposed by water to give hydrogen chloride and phosphoric(V) acid. It is soluble in organic solvents. The compound may be prepared by the reaction of chlorine with phosphorus(III) chloride. Phosphorus(V) chloride is structurally interesting in that in the gas phase it has the expected trigonal bipyramidal form but in the solid phase it consists of the ions [PCl4]+[PCl6]. The same ions are detected when phosphorus(V) chloride is dissolved in polar solvents. It is used in organic chemisty as a chlorinating agent.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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