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(inorganic chemistry)
Binary compound of trivalent phosphorus, as in Na3P.



any of the compounds of phosphorus with metals or with nonmetals, such as B, Si, and As, that are more electropositive than phosphorus. Phosphides of nontransition metals and of metals of the copper subgroup, which have the compositions Me3P and Me2P5 in the case of alkali metals, Me3P2 with alkaline-earth metals, and Me3P and MeP2 with metals of the copper subgroup (Me denoting the metal), are ionic, saltlike compounds. Phosphides of alkali and alkaline-earth metals are readily decomposed by water and dilute acids, phosphine being liberated in the process. Phosphides of alkaline-earth metals and metals of the copper subgroup are not stable at elevated temperatures; at relatively high phosphorus concentrations, these phosphides are semiconducting.

Phosphides of transition metals (CrP, MoP, TiP), including lanthanides and actinides (LaP, PuP, U3P4), are chemically stable and do not decompose in water or dilute acids; their physical properties are close to those of either semiconductors (UP, NbP, MnP) or metals (TiP, ZrP). The phosphides of boron, aluminum, and indium are covalent compounds that are high-melting and semiconducting. Phosphides also include volatile molecular compounds, such as those with sulfur, selenium, and tellurium.

Phosphides are formed by a synthesis of the elements at temperatures of 600°–1200°C in a vacuum or atmosphere of inert gases; by the reaction of phosphine with metals and nonmetals or with the corresponding oxides; by the double exchange of phosphine with halides or sulfides, for example, B2S3 + 2PH3 = 2BP + 3H2S; and by the reduction of metal phosphates by hydrogen at high temperatures.

A number of phosphides (InP, GaP) have great importance as semiconductor materials. Zinc phosphide is used as a rodenticide. Phosphides are used in certain nonferrous alloys, such as phosphor bronze, for deoxidation and improvement of antifriction properties. The tendency of certain phosphides to decompose with the liberation of phosphines, which ignite spontaneously in air, is used in the production of signal devices.


References in periodicals archive ?
Police then raided the flat and found Aluminum Phosphide inside it.
When contacted, Singh said: " The aluminum phosphide found in Shakeel's viscera could be attributed to the use of insecticides which are used on wheat and other
The number of chemical poisoning jumped to 225 in 2008 - 102 of these were due to aluminum phosphide inhalation and the majority of those affected were children, said Badawood in a written statement.
Though he did not mention the chemical in question, all descriptions provided suggest that the product is aluminum phosphide, the chemical that has been responsible for numerous deaths in Saudi Arabia.
Mattar said that in July 2007 toxicologists were able to positively identify aluminum phosphide as the active ingredient in a nonfatal poisoning incident in an apartment complex in Jeddah's Al-Shatie district.
Pesticides containing Aluminum Phosphide should only be used by persons who have been trained and are licensed or certified for its use.
Under no circumstances should a fumigant like aluminum phosphide be used in the home, neither by residents nor professionals.
Toshiba has been a leader in indium gallium aluminum phosphide (InGaAIP) LEDs since 1991, with a product lineup widely used in LED information panels and automobile applications, such as high-mounted stop lamp and backlight of instrument panels.
MAKKAH: Municipal inspectors seized 15 bottles of a deadly agricultural pesticide containing aluminum phosphide in a shop in Makkah yesterday, Abdul Salam Mushat, undersecretary at the Makkah mayor's office, said in a statement.
RIYADH: The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday imposed a fine of SR60,000 on a pest control company and revoked its license to apply pesticides containing aluminum phosphide.
MAKKAH: The deaths in Jeddah over the past few months as a result of the use of poisonous pesticides, especially ones containing aluminum phosphide, have sent shockwaves among residents of Makkah who have urged authorities to prevent the sale of the deadly chemicals.
JEDDAH: Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, governor of Makkah province, announced yesterday that efforts would be intensified to prevent the illegal under-the-counter sale of dangerous pesticides, particularly those containing aluminum phosphide.