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Tin Phosphides

Several well-defined phosphides of tin have been made by the dry methods. The early work was of a qualitative nature. Phosphides of tin may be made by heating metaphosphoric acid or a phosphate and silica with carbon and tin or stannic oxide.

When phosphorus and tin are melted together in a sealed tube, two liquid layers are formed, and the maximum amount of phosphorus taken up by the tin is 8 per cent., while by heating tin and phosphorus in a sealed tube at 620° C. for 10 hours grey crystals were obtained which contained 40 per cent, of phosphorus and which after purification by hydrochloric acid, alkali and nitric acid had the composition SnP3. The density was 4.1 at 0° C. Alloys of tin with about 13 per cent, of phosphorus contained Sn4P3, which had a density of 5.18 and was attacked by aqueous acids.

Commercial phosphor-tin may contain up to 10 per cent, of phosphorus as phosphides, the crystals of which are revealed by etching with dilute nitric acid. Phosphor-tin is much used for making phosphor-bronzes.

The action of phosphine on tin salts also gives phosphide.

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