Wed August 08, 2012 By: Suresh C C

why does NH3 dissolve in water and PH3 does not?

Expert Reply
Thu August 09, 2012
Phosphine, PH3 dissolves in water but only moderately. NH3 can form in H-bonding with water, because of the high electronegativity value of N and the lone pair of electrons on the N. P has the hydrogens, and the lone pair of electrons, but it does not have a high electronegativity value, so it does not H-bond to water as much. Also, the comparatily bigger size of phosphorus hinders the H-bonding.
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