Parent hydride

In IUPAC nomenclature, a parent hydride is a main group compound with the formula AHn, where A is a main group element. The names of parent hydrides are ending with 'ane', analogous with the nomenclature for alkanes. Derivatives of parent hydrides are named by appending prefixes or suffixes to the name of the parent hydride to indicate the substituents that replace the hydrogen atoms.

Parent hydrides are used in both the organic nomenclature, and inorganic nomenclature systems.[1]

Parent hydride names for group 13-17 elements (with standard bond numbers)
13 14 15 16 17
BH3, borane CH4, methane* NH3, azane (ammonia)* OH2, oxidane (water)* FH, fluorane (hydrogen fluoride)*
AlH3, alumane SiH4, silane* PH3, phosphane (phosphine)* SH2, sulfane (hydrogen sulfide)* ClH, chlorane (hydrogen chloride)*
GaH3, gallane GeH4, germane* AsH3, arsane (arsine)* SeH2, selane (hydrogen selenide)* BrH, bromane (hydrogen bromide)*
InH3, indigane SnH4, stannane* SbH3, stibane TeH2, tellane (hydrogen telluride)* IH, iodane (hydrogen iodide)*
TlH3, thallane PbH4, plumbane BiH3, bismuthane PoH2, polane AtH, astatane
  • extensive body of chemistry

Reactions and structure

Parent hydrides are useful reference compounds, but many are nonexistent or unstable. Group III parent hydrides exist only under extraordinary conditions. Borane dimerizes irreversibly. Gallane and heavier congeners polymerize, sometimes with loss of hydrogen. Plumbane and bismuthane are unstable. For group V, stibane, indane, thallane are also unstable.

See also


  1. Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry IUPAC Recommendations 2005 (Red Book) Par. IR-6 Parent Hydride Names and Substitutive Nomenclature - Full text PDF
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