Diphosphorus tetrachloride
3D model (JSmol)
  • InChI=1S/Cl4P2/c1-5(2)6(3)4
  • P(P(Cl)Cl)(Cl)Cl
Molar mass 203.75 g·mol−1
Appearance colorless liquid
Melting point −28 °C; −19 °F; 245 K
Boiling point 180 °C; 356 °F; 453 K
Related compounds
Other anions
Diphosphorus tetrafluoride
Diphosphorus tetraiodide
Related compounds
Diphosphorus tetrafluoride
Diphosphorus tetraiodide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Diphosphorus tetrachloride is an inorganic compound with a chemical formula P2Cl4. It is a colorless liquid that decomposes near room temperature and ignites in air.[1]


It was first prepared in 1910 by Gauthier by the following reaction:

2 PCl3 + H2 → P2Cl4 + 2 HCl

An improved method involves coevaporation of phosphorus trichloride and copper, as described by the following:[1]

2 PCl3 + 2 Cu → P2Cl4 + 2 CuCl


Near room temperature, the compound degrades to give phosphorus trichloride and an ill-defined phosphorus monochloride:

P2Cl4 → PCl3 + 1/n [PCl]n

The compound adds to cyclohexene to give trans-C6H10-1,2-(PCl2)2.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Driess, M.; Haiber, G. (1993). "Eine neue Synthese von Tetrachlordiphosphan sowie Untersuchungen zur 1,2-Addition an Cycloalkene". Zeitschrift für Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie. 619: 215–219. doi:10.1002/zaac.19936190135.