Antimony pentachloride
Antimony pentachloride
Antimony pentachloride in an ampoule.jpg
IUPAC names
Antimony pentachloride
Antimony(V) chloride
Other names
Antimonic chloride
Antimony perchloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.028.729 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 231-601-8
RTECS number
  • CC5075000
  • InChI=1S/5ClH.Sb/h5*1H;/q;;;;;+3/p-5 checkY
  • InChI=1/5ClH.Sb.3H/h5*1H;;;;/q;;;;;+3;;;/p-5/r5ClH.H3Sb/h5*1H;1H3/q;;;;;+3/p-5
  • InChI=1/5ClH.Sb/h5*1H;/q;;;;;+3/p-5
  • [Cl-].[Cl-].[Cl-].[Cl-].[Cl-].[SbH3+3]
  • [SbH3+3].[Cl-].[Cl-].[Cl-].[Cl-].[Cl-]
Molar mass 299.01 g·mol−1
Appearance colorless or reddish-yellow (fuming) liquid, oily
Odor pungent, offensive
Density 2.336 g/cm3 (20 °C)[1]
2.36 g/cm3 (25 °C)[2]
Melting point 2.8 °C (37.0 °F; 275.9 K)
Boiling point 140 °C (284 °F; 413 K)
decomposes from 106 °C[3]
79 °C (174 °F; 352 K)
at 22 mmHg[1]
92 °C (198 °F; 365 K)
at 30 mmHg[2]
Solubility soluble in alcohol, HCl, tartaric acid, CHCl3, CS2, CCl4
Solubility in selenium(IV) oxychloride 62.97 g/100 g (25 °C)
Vapor pressure 0.16 kPa (25 °C)
4 kPa (40 °C)
7.7 kPa (100 °C)[4]
-120.0·10−6 cm3/mol
Viscosity 2.034 cP (29.4 °C)[1]
1.91 cP (35 °C)
Trigonal bipyramidal
0 D
120.9 J/mol·K (gas)
295 J/mol·K
-437.2 kJ/mol
-345.35 kJ/mol
Occupational safety and health (OHS/OSH):
Inhalation hazards
GHS labelling:[2]
GHS05: Corrosive
GHS09: Environmental hazard
H314, H411
P273, P280, P305+P351+P338, P310
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flash point 77 °C (171 °F; 350 K)
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
1115 mg/kg, (rat, oral)[3]
NIOSH (US health exposure limits):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 0.5 mg/m3 (as Sb)[5]
REL (Recommended)
TWA 0.5 mg/m3 (as Sb)[5]
Related compounds
Other anions
Antimony pentafluoride
Other cations
Phosphorus pentachloride
Related compounds
Antimony trichloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Antimony pentachloride is a chemical compound with the formula SbCl5. It is a colourless oil, but typical samples are yellowish due to dissolved chlorine. Owing to its tendency to hydrolyse to hydrochloric acid, SbCl5 is a highly corrosive substance and must be stored in glass or PTFE containers.

Preparation and structure

Antimony pentachloride is prepared by passing chlorine gas into molten antimony trichloride:

SbCl3 + Cl2 → SbCl5

Gaseous SbCl5 has a trigonal bipyramidal structure.[6]


This compounds reacts with water to form antimony pentoxide and hydrochloric acid:[7]

2 SbCl5 + 5 H2O → Sb2O5 + 10 HCl

The mono- and tetrahydrates are known, SbCl5·H2O and SbCl5·4H2O.

This compound forms adducts with many Lewis bases. SbCl5 is a soft Lewis acid and its ECW model parameters are EA = 3.64 and CA = 10.42. It is used as the standard Lewis acid in the Gutmann scale of Lewis basicity.[8][9]

It is also a strong oxidizing agent.[10] For example aromatic ethers are oxidized to their radical cations according to the following stoichiometry:[11]

3 SbCl5 + 2 ArH → 2 (ArH+)(SbCl6) + SbCl3


Antimony pentachloride is used as a polymerization catalyst and for the chlorination of organic compounds.


Antimony pentachloride is a highly corrosive substance that should be stored away from heat and moisture. It is a chlorinating agent and, in the presence of moisture, it releases hydrogen chloride gas. Because of this, it may etch even stainless-steel tools (such as needles), if handled in a moist atmosphere. It should not be handled with non-fluorinated plastics (such as plastic syringes, plastic septa, or needles with plastic fittings), since it melts and carbonizes plastic materials.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Antimony pentachloride (UK PID)".
  2. ^ a b c Sigma-Aldrich Co., Antimony(V) chloride. Retrieved on 2014-05-29.
  3. ^ a b c "Antimony(V) chloride".
  4. ^ Antimony pentachloride in Linstrom, Peter J.; Mallard, William G. (eds.); NIST Chemistry WebBook, NIST Standard Reference Database Number 69, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg (MD) (retrieved 2014-05-29)
  5. ^ a b NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0036". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  6. ^ Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-08-037941-8.
  7. ^ Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0-07-049439-8
  8. ^ V. Gutmann (1976). "Solvent effects on the reactivities of organometallic compounds". Coord. Chem. Rev. 18 (2): 225–255. doi:10.1016/S0010-8545(00)82045-7.
  9. ^ Cramer, R. E.; Bopp, T. T. (1977). "Graphical display of the enthalpies of adduct formation for Lewis acids and bases". Journal of Chemical Education. 54: 612–613. doi:10.1021/ed054p612. The plots shown in this paper used older parameters. Improved E&C parameters are listed in ECW model.
  10. ^ Connelly, N. G.; Geiger, W. E. (1996). "Chemical Redox Agents for Organometallic Chemistry". Chem. Rev. 96 (2): 877–922. doi:10.1021/cr940053x. PMID 11848774.
  11. ^ Rathore, R.; Kumar, A. S.; Lindeman, S. V.; Kochi, J. K. (1998). "Preparation and Structures of Crystalline Aromatic Cation-Radical Salts. Triethyloxonium Hexachloroantimonate as a Novel (One-Electron) Oxidant". The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 63 (17): 5847–5856. doi:10.1021/jo980407a. PMID 11672186.
  12. ^ Shekarchi, M.; Behbahani, F. K Catal. Lett. 2017 147 2950. doi:10.1007/s10562-017-2194-2