Molybdenum(III) chloride

Molybdenum(III) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula MoCl3. It forms purple crystals.[1]

Molybdenum(III) chloride
IUPAC names
Molybdenum(III) chloride
Molybdenum trichloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.033.418 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 236-775-9
Molar mass 202.30 g/mol
Appearance dark red solid
Density 3.58 g/cm3
Melting point 410 °C (770 °F; 683 K) (decomposes)
Solubility insoluble in ethanol, diethyl ether
+43.0·10−6 cm3/mol
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions
Molybdenum(III) fluoride
Molybdenum(III) bromide
Molybdenum(III) iodide
Other cations
Chromium(IV) chloride
Tungsten(V) chloride
Related molybdenum chlorides
Molybdenum(II) chloride
Molybdenum(IV) chloride
Molybdenum(V) chloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Synthesis and structureEdit

Molybdenum(III) chloride is synthesized by the reduction of molybdenum(V) chloride with hydrogen.[2] A higher yield is produced by the reduction of pure molybdenum(V) chloride with anhydrous tin(II) chloride as the reducing agent. This procedure must be performed under a moisture-free and oxygen-free atmosphere of prepurified nitrogen.[3]

There are two structures of molybdenum trichloride- alpha (α) and beta (β). The alpha structure is similar to that of aluminum chloride (AlCl3). In this structure, molybdenum has octahedral coordination geometry and exhibits cubic close-packing in its crystalline structure. The beta structure, however, exhibits hexagonal close packing.[4]

THF complexEdit

The THF complex of molybdenum trichloride is trichlorotris(tetrahydrofuran) molybdenum (III). It is synthesized by stirring MoCl4(THF)2, THF, and coarse tin powder. It is a pale orange solid that is very moisture-sensitive, so it should be stored under dry argon in a freezer and in the dark. The complex has octahedral geometry. The IR spectrum is free of intense bands in the 900–1000 cm−1, a characteristic of molybdenum oxo species.[5]

Hexa(tert-butoxy)dimolybdenum(III) is prepared by the salt metathesis reaction from MoCl3(thf)3:[6]

2 MoCl3(thf)3 + 6 LiOBu-t → Mo2(OBu-t)6 + 6 LiCl + 6 thf


  1. ^ Perry DL (2011). Handbook of Inorganic Compounds (2nd ed.). Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis. p. 279. ISBN 978-1-4398-1461-1.
  2. ^ Couch DE, Brenner A (1959). "Preparation of Trichloride and Tetrachloride of Molybdenum". Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards. Section A, Physics and Chemistry. 63A (2): 185–188. doi:10.6028/jres.063A.013. PMC 5287202. PMID 31216151.
  3. ^ Larson ML (1970). "Preparation of Some Metal Halides- Anhydrous Molybdenum Halides and Oxide Halides - A Summary". Inorganic Syntheses, Volume 12. pp. 178–181.
  4. ^ Hillebrecht H, Schmidt PJ, Rotter HW, Thiele G, Zönnchen P, Bengel H, Cantow HJ, Magonov SN, Whangbo MH (1997). "Structural and scanning microscopy studies of layered compounds MCl3 (M= Mo, Ru, Cr) and MOCl2 (M= V, Nb, Mo, Ru, Os)". Journal of Alloys and Compounds. 246 (1–2): 70–79. doi:10.1016/S0925-8388(96)02465-6.
  5. ^ Dilworth, Jonathan R.; Richards, Raymond L. (1990). "The Synthesis of Molybdenum and Tungsten Dinitrogen Complexes". Inorganic Syntheses. Inorganic Syntheses. 28. pp. 33–43. doi:10.1002/9780470132593.ch7. ISBN 9780470132593.
  6. ^ Broderick, Erin M.; Browne, Samuel C.; Johnson, Marc J. A. (2014). "Dimolybdenum and Ditungsten Hexa(Alkoxides)". Inorganic Syntheses: Volume 36. Inorganic Syntheses. 36. pp. 95–102. doi:10.1002/9781118744994.ch18. ISBN 9781118744994.

Further readingEdit

  • Dilworth JR, Richards RL, Chen GJ, Mcdonald JW (January 1990). The Synthesis of Molybdenum and Tungsten Dinitrogen Complexes. Inorganic Syntheses: Reagents for Transition Metal Complex and Organometallic Syntheses. 28. pp. 33–43.