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Triethyl phosphite

Triethyl phosphite
IUPAC name Triethyl phosphite
Other names Triethoxyphosphine
CAS number 122-52-1
PubChem 24900347
Molecular formula C6H15O3P
Molar mass 166.16
Appearance colorless liquid
Density 0.969
Melting point

-70 °C, 203 K, -94 °F

Boiling point

57–58°/16 mm °C

Solubility in water organic solvents
Main hazards toxic
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Triethylphosphite is an organophosphorus compound with the formula P(OCH2CH3)3, often abbreviated P(OEt)3. This colorless liquid is used as a ligand in organometallic chemistry and as a reagent in organic synthesis. The molecule features a pyramidal phosphorus(III) center bound to three ethoxide groups.

Triethylphosphite is prepared by treating phosphorus trichloride with ethanol in the presence of a base, typically a tertiary amine:[1]

PCl3 + 3 EtOH + 3 R3N → P(OEt)3 + 3 R3NH+Cl-

Of the many related compounds can be prepared similarly, triisopropyl phosphite is an example (b.p. 43.5 °C/1.0 mm; CAS# 116-17-6).

As a ligand

In coordination chemistry and homogeneous catalysis]], triethylphosphite finds use as a soft ligand. Its complexes are generally lipophilic and feature metals in low oxidation states. Examples include the colorless complexes FeH2(P(OEt)3)4 and Ni(P(OEt)3)4 (m.p. 187 °C).[2]


  1. ^ A. H. Ford-Moore and B. J. Perry (1963). "Triethyl Phosphite". Org. Synth.; Coll. Vol. 4: 955. 
  2. ^ Ittel, Steven D. (1990). "Complexes of Nickel(0)". Inorganic Syntheses 28: 98-104. doi:10.1002/9780470132593.ch26.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Triethyl_phosphite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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