Friday, May 16, 2014

Book: "The Chemistry of Phosphorus"

I have been reading this book slowly for about two months now. It is such a rare book that I was not able to find it online. So, I took notes carefully during the time I have kept it. Unfortunately, I have to give it back tomorrow to the library I borrowed it from.

Although the book is really old (published in 1976), it is fascinating how much you can learn about phosphorus. Phosphorus has always impressed me (the other element impresses me is technetium)! After all, the whole life depends on it! Why did life evolve around phosphorus? It really bothers me.

One of the most interesting things I learned from this book is the "increase in enthalpy of 3.3 kJ/mol per pm decrease in bond length (0.8 kcal/mol per 0.01 A)."

"bond angles are always narrower in phosphine derivatives than in their nitrogen counterpart" This one is not counterintuitiv but I wanted to write here.

- PH3 has a small s-character than PI3 !

To tie it up I will paraphrase: In PH3, the lone pair is less available than in NH3. Because, 3s orbital is somehow buried between 3p orbitals.You can compare the basicity and of amines and phosphines to see this effect.

This book is a great source and looks like the most serious attempt to explain the chemistry of phosphorus with in-depth discussions, useful data and tables showing several trends in phosphorus chemistry and reactions. I wish I owned a copy. So, if you ever want to buy me a present, you can try to find one for me!

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