Calculated properties and ring-chain rearrangements of triphosphirane (P3H3)

Andrea Deák, Monica Venter, Alajos Kálmán, László Párkányi, Lajos Radics, Ionel Haiduc

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Ab initio quantum chemical calculations have been used to explore the P3H3 potential energy surface focussing on the ring-chain rearrangements of the three-membered ring in (PH)3 (1), the parent triphosphirane. Relative energies between stationary points were estimated using the QCISD(T)/6- 311G(d,p) method based on MP2/6-31G(d,p) geometries and corrected for zero- point contributions. Ring strain, proton affinities, ionization and excitation energies and heats of formation have been evaluated using larger basis sets, e.g. 6-311++G(3df,2p). The cyclic transtriphosphirane (1a) is the most stable P3H3 isomer and lies about 40 kJ/mol below the open-chain phosphanyldiphosphene (H2P-P=PH). The decrease of ring strain in threemembered rings when CH2 is replaced by PH is confirmed. Triphosphirane 1a is a virtually strain-free ring and even gains some stabilization relative to three separate P-P single bonds. The reduced ring strain also helps diminish the phosphorus inversion barrier to 224 kJ/mol compared to the monocyclic isomers of (CH2)(PH)2 and (CH2)2(PH). Compound 1a follows a pure ring-opening or a 1,2-hydrogen shift rather than a combined motion pathway, in fundamental contrast with corresponding processes of diphosphirane and phosphirane. This is due to the existence of an open-chain P3H3 phosphorane intermediate stabilized by allylic conjugation. The pericyclic ring-opening of 1a is the most favored process but the energy barrier in the gas phase is about 180 kJ/mol high. Electron density is largely delocalized within the three-membered P3 ring not only in the C(3v)- symmetric 1b (all-cis) but also in 1a (C(s)). The proton affinity of 1a is similar to that of PH3. The proton affinities decrease with n in cyclo- (CH3)(3-n)(PH)(n) and their values were obtained: PA(1a) = 777 ± 10, PA(diphosphirane) = 799 ±10 and PA(phosphirane) = 802 ± 10 kJ/mol. Heats of formation are evaluated as follows (ΔH°10 at 0 K in kJ/mol): 1a, 70 ±10; cyclo-(PH)2(PH2)+ (protonated 1a), 821 ±10; diphosphirane, 85 ±10; cyclo-(CH2)(PH)(PH2)+ (protonated diphosphirane), 814 ±10; phosphirane, 86 ±10; and protonated phosphirane, 812 ±10 kJ/mol. All P rings remain cyclic following ionization to the radical cations. Adiabatic ionization energies (IE(a)) are estimated as: 1a and diphosphirane, 9.3 ±0.3 eV and phosphirane 9.5 ±0.3 eV. The first UV absorption band shifts toward the longer wavelength region on going from phosphirane to 1a. The GIAO/B3LYP computed magnetic shieldings for 1a and related molecules reveal a clear relationship between the narrow bond angles in the rings and their unusually strong magnetic shielding. The similarity of the predicted 31P-NMR signals in 1a and its heteroanalog diphosphirane, (CH2)(PH)2, can be rationalized in terms of a compensation of the carbon-substituent effect (downfield shift) and the bond-bending effect imposed by the ring (upfield shift).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry

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