Skeletal formula of stibine
Spacefill model of stibine
  Antimony, Sb
  Hydrogen, H
IUPAC name
Other names
Antimony trihydride
Hydrogen antimonide
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.149.507 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 620-578-3
RTECS number
  • WJ0700000
UN number 2676
  • InChI=1S/Sb.3H checkY
  • InChI=1/Sb.3H/rH3Sb/h1H3
  • [SbH3]
Molar mass 124.784 g/mol
Appearance Colourless gas
Odor unpleasant, like hydrogen sulfide
Density 5.48 g/L, gas
Melting point −88 °C (−126 °F; 185 K)
Boiling point −17 °C (1 °F; 256 K)
slightly soluble
Solubility in ethanol soluble[1]
Vapor pressure >1 atm (20°C)[2]
Conjugate acid Stibonium
Trigonal pyramidal
Occupational safety and health (OHS/OSH):
Main hazards
Extremely toxic, flammable
GHS labelling:
GHS02: FlammableGHS04: Compressed GasGHS06: ToxicGHS08: Health hazard
H220, H370
P210, P260, P264, P270, P307+P311, P321, P377, P381, P403, P405, P501
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
NFPA 704 four-colored diamondHealth 4: Very short exposure could cause death or major residual injury. E.g. VX gasFlammability 4: Will rapidly or completely vaporize at normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, or is readily dispersed in air and will burn readily. Flash point below 23 °C (73 °F). E.g. propaneInstability 3: Capable of detonation or explosive decomposition but requires a strong initiating source, must be heated under confinement before initiation, reacts explosively with water, or will detonate if severely shocked. E.g. hydrogen peroxideSpecial hazards (white): no code
Flash point Flammable gas
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
100 ppm (mouse, 1 hr)
92 ppm (guinea pig, 1 hr)
40 ppm (dog, 1 hr)[3]
NIOSH (US health exposure limits):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 0.1 ppm (0.5 mg/m3)[2]
REL (Recommended)
TWA 0.1 ppm (0.5 mg/m3)[2]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
5 ppm[2]
Related compounds
Related compounds
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Stibine (IUPAC name: stibane) is a chemical compound with the formula SbH3. A pnictogen hydride, this colourless, highly toxic gas is the principal covalent hydride of antimony, and a heavy analogue of ammonia. The molecule is pyramidal with H–Sb–H angles of 91.7° and Sb–H distances of 170.7 pm (1.707 Å). This gas has an offensive smell like hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs).


SbH3 is generally prepared by the reaction of Sb3+ sources with H− equivalents:[4]

2 Sb2O3 + 3 LiAlH4 → 4 SbH3 + 1.5 Li2O + 1.5 Al2O3
4 SbCl3 + 3 NaBH4 → 4 SbH3 + 3 NaCl + 3 BCl3

Alternatively, sources of Sb3− react with protonic reagents (even water) to also produce this unstable gas:

Na3Sb + 3 H2O → SbH3 + 3 NaOH


The chemical properties of SbH3 resemble those for AsH3.[5] Typical for a heavy hydride (e.g. AsH3, H2Te, SnH4), SbH3 is unstable with respect to its elements. The gas decomposes slowly at room temperature but rapidly at 200 °C:

2 SbH3 → 3 H2 + 2 Sb

The decomposition is autocatalytic and can be explosive.

SbH3 is readily oxidized by O2 or even air:

2 SbH3 + 3 O2 → Sb2O3 + 3 H2O

SbH3 exhibits no basicity, but it can be deprotonated:

SbH3 + NaNH2 → NaSbH2 + NH3

The salt NaSbH2 is called sodium stibinide, and contains the stibinide anion SbH2.


Stibine is used in the semiconductor industry to dope silicon with small quantities of antimony via the process of chemical vapour deposition (CVD). It has also been used as a silicon dopant in epitaxial layers. Reports claim the use of SbH3 as a fumigant but its instability and awkward preparation contrast with the more conventional fumigant phosphine.


As stibine (SbH3) is similar to arsine (AsH3); it is also detected by the Marsh test. This sensitive test detects arsine generated in the presence of arsenic.[5] This procedure, developed circa 1836 by James Marsh, treats a sample with arsenic-free zinc and dilute sulfuric acid: if the sample contains arsenic, gaseous arsine will form. The gas is swept into a glass tube and decomposed by means of heating around 250 – 300 °C. The presence of arsenic is indicated by formation of a deposit in the heated part of the equipment. The formation of a black mirror deposit in the cool part of the equipment indicates the presence of antimony.

In 1837 Lewis Thomson and Pfaff independently discovered stibine. It took some time before the properties of the toxic gas could be determined, partly because a suitable synthesis was not available. In 1876 Francis Jones tested several synthesis methods,[6] but it was not before 1901 when Alfred Stock determined most of the properties of stibine.[7][8]


SbH3 is an unstable flammable gas. It is highly toxic, with an LC50 of 100 ppm in mice.


For the toxicology of other antimony compounds, see Antimony trioxide.

The toxicity of stibine is distinct from that of other antimony compounds, but similar to that of arsine.[9] Stibine binds to the haemoglobin of red blood cells, causing them to be destroyed by the body. Most cases of stibine poisoning have been accompanied by arsine poisoning, although animal studies indicate that their toxicities are equivalent. The first signs of exposure, which can take several hours to become apparent, are headaches, vertigo, and nausea, followed by the symptoms of hemolytic anemia (high levels of unconjugated bilirubin), hemoglobinuria, and nephropathy.

See also


  1. ^ John Rumble (June 18, 2018). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (99th ed.). CRC Press. pp. 4–41. ISBN 978-1138561632.
  2. ^ a b c d NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0568". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  3. ^ "Stibine". Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  4. ^ Bellama, J. M.; MacDiarmid, A. G. (1968). "Synthesis of the Hydrides of Germanium, Phosphorus, Arsenic, and Antimony by the Solid-Phase Reaction of the Corresponding Oxide with Lithium Aluminum Hydride". Inorganic Chemistry. 7 (10): 2070–2072. doi:10.1021/ic50068a024.
  5. ^ a b Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. (2001). Inorganic Chemistry. San Diego: Academic Press.
  6. ^ Francis Jones (1876). "On Stibine". Journal of the Chemical Society. 29 (2): 641–650. doi:10.1039/JS8762900641.
  7. ^ Alfred Stock; Walther Doht (1901). "Die Reindarstellung des Antimonwasserstoffes". Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft. 34 (2): 2339–2344. doi:10.1002/cber.190103402166.
  8. ^ Alfred Stock; Oskar Guttmann (1904). "Ueber den Antimonwasserstoff und das gelbe Antimon". Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft. 37 (1): 885–900. doi:10.1002/cber.190403701148.
  9. ^ "Fiche toxicologique n° 202 : Trihydrure d'antimoine" (PDF). Institut national de recherche et de sécurité (INRS). 1992. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)