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Calcium monophosphide

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Title: Calcium monophosphide  
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Subject: Calcium sulfite, Calcium bisulfite, Calcium borate, Calcium silicide, Calcium titanate
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Calcium monophosphide

Calcium monophosphide
CAS number  YesY
Molecular formula CaP (Ca2P2)
Appearance black solid
Solubility in water decomposes
R-phrases R50
S-phrases (S1/2) S22 S43 S45 S61
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 YesY   YesY/N?)

Calcium monophosphide is the 3P2, which is also called calcium phosphide. CaP and Ca3P2 are completely different materials. CaP is black, Ca3P2 is red-brown. The monophosphide decomposes to Ca3P2 at about 600 °C.

3 CaP → Ca3P2 + 1/4 P4

Structure and properties

The structures of CaP and sodium peroxide (Na2O2) are very similar.[1] The solid is described as a salt: (Ca2+)2P24-, or Ca2P2. Since the bonding is ionic, the diphosphide centers carry negative charge and are easily protonated. Upon hydrolysis this material releases diphosphine (P2H4):[2]

Ca2P2 + 4 H2O → 2 Ca(OH)2 + P2H4

The hydrolyses of CaP and calcium carbide (CaC2) are similar, except that diphosphine spontaneously ignites in air. Thus, CaP must be protected from air.


  1. ^ Iandelli, A. and Franceschi, E., "On the crystal structure of the compounds CaP, SrP, CaAs, SrAs and EuAs", Journal of the Less Common Metals, 1973, volume 30, pp. 211-216. doi:10.1016/0022-5088(73)90107-0
  2. ^ Marianne Baudler, Klaus Glinka (1993). "Monocyclic and polycyclic phosphines".  
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