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The structure of a typical phosphorane group.

A phosphorane (IUPAC name: λ5-phosphane) is a functional group in organophosphorus chemistry with pentavalent phosphorus. It has the general formula PR5. The parent hydride compound is the hypothetical molecule PH5. The derivative pentaphenylphosphorane (Ph5P) is stable.[1]

Phosphoranes adopt a trigonal bipyramidal molecular geometry with the two apical bonds longer than the three equatorial bonds. Hypervalent bonding is described by inclusion of non-bonding MOs, as also invoked for the closely related molecule phosphorus pentafluoride.[2]

Phosphoranes of the type R3P=CR2 are more common and more important. Phosphoranes are also considered to be one of the resonance structures of ylides, these compounds feature a tetrahedral phosphorus center including a phosphorus–carbon double bond. These compounds are used as reagents in the Wittig reaction, for instance methylenetriphenylphosphorane or Ph3P=CH2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ^ A Guide to Organophosphorus Chemistry Louis D. Quin 2000 John Wiley & Sons ISBN 0-471-31824-8
  2. ^ G. L. Miessler and D. A. Tarr “Inorganic Chemistry” 3rd Ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall publisher, ISBN 0-13-035471-6.