Phosphorus compounds: tetraphosphorus pentasulphide (alpha)

phosphorus symbol icon

The phosphorus in tetraphosphorus pentasulphide (alpha) formally is in the oxidation state .

Crystal structure of tetraphosphorus pentasulphide (alpha)

Tetraphosphorus pentasulphide (alpha)

  • Formula as often written: P4S5
  • Hill system formula: P4S5
  • CAS registry number: [15578-54-8]
  • Formula weight: 284.225
  • Class: sulphide


  • tetraphosphorus pentasulphide (alpha)
  • phosphorus pentasulphide
  • phosphorus pentasulfide
  • phosphorus sulfide
  • phosphorus sulphide
  • tetraphosphorus pentasulfide (alpha)

Physical properties

  • Colour: yellow
  • Appearance: crystalline solid
  • Melting point: 170°C
  • Boiling point:
  • Density: 2170 kg m-3


Coming soon...

Element analysis

Element percentages for the elements in tetraphosphorus pentasulphide (alpha)
Element %
P 43.59
S 56.41


Not available

Solid state structure

  • Geometry of phosphorus: mixed 3-, 4-coordinate: pyramidal and tetrahedral
  • Prototypical structure:

Crystal structure of tetraphosphorus pentasulphide (alpha)

Isotope pattern

What follows is the calculated isotope pattern for the P4S5 unit with the most intense ion set to 100%.

Formula: P4S5

mass  %
284 100.0 __________________________________________________
285 4.0 __
286 22.2 ___________
287 0.7
288 2.1 _
289 0.1
290 0.1
291 0.0
292 0.0


The data on these compounds pages are assembled and adapted from the primary literature and several other sources including the following.

  • R.T. Sanderson in Chemical Periodicity, Reinhold, New York, USA, 1960.
  • N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw in Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth, UK, 1997.
  • F.A. Cotton, G. Wilkinson, C.A. Murillo, and M. Bochmann, in Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • A.F. Trotman-Dickenson, (ed.) in Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry, Pergamon, Oxford, UK, 1973.
  • R.W.G. Wyckoff, in Crystal Structures, volume 1, Interscience, John Wiley & Sons, 1963.
  • A.R.West in Basic solid state chemistry Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • A.F. Wells in Structural inorganic chemistry, 4th edition, Oxford, UK, 1975.
  • J.D.H. Donnay, (ed.) in Crystal data determinative tables, ACA monograph number 5, American Crystallographic Association, USA, 1963.
  • D.R. Lide, (ed.) in Chemical Rubber Company handbook of chemistry and physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 77th edition, 1996.
  • J.W. Mellor in A comprehensive treatise on inorganic and theoretical chemistry, volumes 1-16, Longmans, London, UK, 1922-1937.
  • J.E. Macintyre (ed.) in Dictionary of inorganic compounds, volumes 1-3, Chapman & Hall, London, UK, 1992.

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