Bis(triphenylphosphine)rhodium carbonyl chloride

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Bis(triphenylphosphine)rhodium carbonyl chloride
Other names
Bis(triphenylphosphine)rhodium(I) carbonyl chloride
3D model (JSmol)
EC Number
  • 237-712-8
  • Cl[Rh-2]([P+](c0ccccc0)(c0ccccc0)c0ccccc0)([P+](c0ccccc0)(c0ccccc0)c0ccccc0)=C=O
Molar mass 690.94
Appearance yellow solid
GHS labelling:
GHS07: Exclamation mark
H302, H312, H315, H319, H332
P261, P264, P270, P271, P273, P280, P301+P312, P302+P352, P304+P312, P304+P340, P305+P351+P338, P312, P321, P322, P330, P332+P313, P337+P313, P362, P363, P403+P233, P405, P501
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Bis(triphenylphosphine)rhodium carbonyl chloride is the organorhodium complex with the formula [RhCl(CO)(PPh3)2]. This complex of rhodium(I) is a bright yellow, air-stable solid. It is the Rh analogue of Vaska's complex, the corresponding iridium complex. With regards to its structure, the complex is square planar with mutually trans triphenylphosphine (PPh3) ligands. The complex is a versatile homogeneous catalyst.[1]

Synthesis and reactions[edit]

Bis(triphenylphosphine)rhodium carbonyl chloride was originally prepared by treating Rh2Cl2(CO)4 with triphenylphosphine.[2] However, it is typically produced by the carbonylation of Wilkinson's catalyst:[3]

RhCl[P(C6H5)3]3 + CO → RhCl(CO)[P(C6H5)3]2 + P(C6H5)3

In homogeneous catalysis, this conversion is typically an undesirable side-reaction since [RhCl(CO)(PPh3)2] is a poor hydrogenation catalyst.

Bis(triphenylphosphine)rhodium carbonyl chloride is the precursor to tris(triphenylphosphine)rhodium carbonyl hydride, an important catalyst for hydroformylation.

RhCl(CO)[P(C6H5)3]2 + NaBH4 + P(C6H5)3 → RhH(CO)[P(C6H5)3]3 + NaCl + BH3


  1. ^ Kikukawa, Kiyoshi; Westcott, Stephen A.; Croatt, Mitchell P.; Williams, Travis J.; Wender, Paul A.; Li, Yiming; Jiang, Xuefeng (2015). "Carbonyl(chloro)bis(triphenylphosphine)rhodium(I)". e-EROS Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. pp. 1–22. doi:10.1002/047084289X.rc021.pub3. ISBN 9780470842898.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Vallarino, L. (1957). "Carbonyl Complexes of Rhodium. I. Complexes with Triarylphosphines, Triarylarsines, and Triarylstibines". Journal of the Chemical Society: 2287–92. doi:10.1039/jr9570002287.
  3. ^ D. Evans J. A. Osborn G. Wilkinson (2007). "Trans -Carbonylchlorobis(Triphenyl-Phosphine)Rhodium and Related Complexes". trans‐Carbonylchlorobis(Triphenylphosphine)Rhodium and Related Complexes. Inorganic Syntheses. Vol. 28. pp. 79–80. doi:10.1002/9780470132593.ch18. ISBN 9780470132593.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)