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Diborane Structure

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Last updated date: 25th Jul 2024
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What is Diborane?

During the 19th century, Diborane was synthesized for the first time by hydrolysis of metal bioroids but it was never analyzed. From 1912 to 1936, Alfred Stock undertook his research in the field of chemistry of boron hydride which led to the method for the handling and synthesis of the highly volatile, reactive, and often toxic boron hydride.


He proposed the first ethane-like Diborane structure electron diffraction measurement by S.H Bauer, who initially appeared to have supported his structure. But because of the structure of L. Pauling, H. I Schlessinger and A.B Burg did not discuss 3 centers and 2 electrons in their classic reviews earlier in early 1940.


In 1943, Longuet Higgins, while he was still an Oxford undergraduate, was the first man to explain the bonding and structure of the boron hydrides.

Bonding and Structure of Diborane

Diborane can be said as a chemical compound that consists of hydrogen and boron, with the formula B2H6. It is a prophetic gas that is colorless with a repulsively sweet odor. Some Diborane synonyms include boron hydride, bromoethane, and die borohydride. Boron’s key compound is diborane which has a variety of applications. Diborane has been widely studied and it has been a center of attention due to its electronic structure and its derivatives are also very useful reagents. 


The diborane structure has a D2h symmetry. Four of its hydrides are terminal, while the two others bridge between the boron centers. The bond length of the B-H bridge bond and the B-H terminals is 1.33 and 1,19 Armstrong respectively. This bond length difference explains the difference in their strengths and the B-H bond being relatively weaker.

FAQs on Diborane Structure

1. What is the diborane deficiency of Electrons?

Diborane is said to be electron deficient structure as boron requires 5 electrons to complete its octet. But in this molecule, each atom of boron is bonded with 2 terminal hydrogen atoms each. Also, both the boron atoms are held together by two hydrogen atoms. Therefore, it is known as an electron-deficient molecule.

2. What is the significance of Diborane?

There are many uses of diborane. It is used as a rocket propellant, as a reducing agent, like a rubber vulcanizer, as a catalyst for hydrocarbon polymerization, as a flame-speed accelerator and as a doping agent as well. It is used in electronics to impart electrical properties in pure crystals.

3. Which type of bonds is present in Diborane?

B2H6 forms covalent banana bonds and are also known as three centres and two-electron bonds. In the diborane atom, two types of H atoms are present. The hydrogen terminal atoms form covalent bonds with B which are normally two centres and two-electron bonds. The H bridged atom forms a banana bond of three centres and two-electron bonds.

4. What is Diborane’s Formula?

B2H6 is the formula of diborane.

5. What are the uses of Diborane?

Diborane has a wide variety of uses due to its unique structure and properties. Diborane has been tested as a rocket propellant as the complete combustion is extremely exothermic. However, in the rocket engine, complete combustion is not possible as some amount of BO is produced. The toxic effects of Diborane are primarily due to irritant properties. Diborane is also used as a catalyst for hydrocarbon polymerization. It is used to colour or coat the walls of tokamaks to reduce the number of impurities of the heavy materials in the core amount of plasma.

6. What are the toxic effects of Diborane?

Although Diborane is a widely used chemical and has many important properties, It is also essential to remember that Diborane is a toxic chemical and has many harmful properties. Short-term exposure to diborane can cause a feeling of tightness in the chest and shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. These symptoms can occur immediately or be delayed by as much as 24 hours. Eye and skin irritation can also occur as a side effect.

7. How can you explain the electron deficiency in Diborane?

Diborane is an extremely sensitive chemical compound and is very reactive. It is said to be electron deficient as the structure of Diborane consists of two Boron atoms, Boron has 5 electrons in its outer shell and requires 1 extra electron to complete its octet. But in Diborane, each Boron atom is bonded with 2 terminal hydrogen atoms each, and both the boron atoms are held together by two hydrogen atoms. That is why it is known as an electron-deficient molecule. 

8. How do you explain the difference between the terminal and bridge bond lengths in Diborane?

Diborane or B2H6 forms covalent bonds and are also known as three centres and two-electron bonds. In the diborane molecule, two types of H atoms are present, which are the hydrogen terminal atoms which form covalent bonds with B that are normally two centres and two-electron bonds. The H bridged atom also forms a bond of three centres and two-electron bonds.

9. What is the importance of Inorganic chemistry in respect to the JEE Examinations?

The JEE examinations which are conducted for engineering candidates to get admissions into the prestigious NITs and IITs consist of three subjects are Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry. Out of these three, Chemistry is considered to be the most scoring and also the subject with the biggest syllabus as Chemistry is in itself divided into three parts known as Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Inorganic Chemistry. To score well in Chemistry one must have a good hold of all the three parts and among them, Inorganic Chemistry is the trickiest.