Inorganic Chemistry

Chemoselective Facile Synthesis of the Dicyanophosphide Anion via Electrochemical Activation of White Phosphorus: An Avenue to Organophosphorus Compounds


  • Yanbo Mei Southern University of Science and Technology ,
  • Zeen Yan Southern University of Science and Technology ,
  • Liu Leo Liu Southern University of Science and Technology


Organophosphorus compounds (OPCs) have gained tremendous interest in the past decades due to their wide applications ranging from synthetic chemistry to materials and biological sciences. We describe herein a practical and versatile approach for the transformation of P4 into useful OPCs with high P atom economy via a key bridging anion [P(CN)2]–. This anion can be prepared on a gram scale directly from P4 through an unprecedented electrochemical process. A variety of OPCs involving phosphinidenes, cyclophosphanes and phospholides have been made readily accessible from P4 in a two-step manner. Our approach has a significant impact on the future preparation of OPCs in laboratory and industrial settings.


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Supplementary material

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Supporting Information
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