Facile Synthesis of AsP3

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Science  30 Jan 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5914, pp. 602
DOI: 10.1126/science.1168260

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The elements phosphorus and arsenic form tetrahedral P4 and As4 molecules, of which the former is a commodity chemical and the latter unstable. Previously, information on molecules of intermediate composition was limited to a spectroscopic study involving hot gas-phase mixtures of phosphorus and arsenic. The AsP3 molecule has yielded to chemical synthesis and was isolated in solid form as a pure substance with a melting point from 71° to 73°C. Physical properties and spectroscopic characterization data for AsP3 are described, and its structure was determined as a ligand in a coordination complex. Soluble in organic solvents, AsP3 represents an attractive starting point for any synthesis in which the target molecule or material contains an exact 1:3 ratio of arsenic to phosphorus.

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