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Systematic name Arsane
Other names Arsenic trihydride
arseniuretted hydrogen
arsenous hydride
hydrogen arsenide
Molecular formula AsH3
SMILES [H][As]([H])[H].
Molar mass Molar mass::77.95 g/mol
Appearance Colorless gas
CAS number CAS number::7784-42-1
Density Density::4.93 g/L(gas)
[[Density::1.640 g/cm3]](−64 °C)
Solubility in water 0.07 g/100 ml (25 °C)
Melting point Melting point::−117 °C (157 K)
Boiling point Boiling point::−62.5°C (210 K)
Molecular shape trigonal pyramidal
Main hazards Very flammable and highly toxic
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 svg.png


Arsine, the poisonous, very flammable, colorless gas that was at one time going to be used in biological warfare weapons. This chemical can kill you before you can even smell it's garlic odor. There is no antidote for arsine poisoning. There is a good part though. Arsine is thought to cure malaria and is undergoing experiments. Arsine is used as a dopant in the semiconductor industry. A dopant is "an impurity added intentionally in a very small, controlled amount to a pure semiconductor to change its electrical properties."[1]It has the formula of AsH3, and is soluble in water. Arsine was formed in 1775 by Carl Scheele. He made it the reduced arsenic(III) oxide which contained zinc and acid. [2]


Arsine is a colorless gas which when at dangerous quantities, smells like garlic. It is extremely flammable and is very toxic as well. Though it is toxic, it does not burn your eyes nor any external part of your body, but hurts you on the inside instead. It has the molecular formula of AsH3[3] It has the molar mass of 77.95 g/mol. It melts at -117 degrees C., and boils at -62.5 degrees C. It's vapor density is 2.69. Arsine's vapours can spread long distances. It is also explosive. [4] It is soluble in water. It is heavier than air. It's temperature at which it automatically ignites is 38°C to 52°C. [5]


Arsine tanks.jpg

Arsine was formed in 1775 by Carl Scheele. He made it from the reduced arsenic(III) oxide which contained zinc and acid. Arsine is formed when arsenic comes in contact with an acid. Accidentally, most arsine is formed in the workplace. [6] Arsine most commonly develops the quickest in poorly ventilated and enclosed places. [7] It is usually shipped in cylinders as liquid compressed gas.


Arsine container

Arsine is used in the semiconductor industry and in manufacturing crystals for computer chips.[8] It is also used sometimes with galvanizing, burnishing, battery manufacture, and plating lead.

Arsine was going to be used in World War II as a weapon for chemical warfare. Since it is an odorless and colorless, it would be perfect for sneak attacks. It is even lethal in concentrations that are small enough that you can't even smell it, but it wasn't as efficient as phosgene, for example, so it was never used as a weapon. [9]

It is speculated that arsine can be used to treat malaria. Arsine targets the membrane of red blood cells and punctures them so the contents come out. It is hard to get rid of red blood cells that are infected by malaria parasites.[10]

Health Hazards

Arsine is a poisonous gas. You can be infected by it most commonly through inhaling it. If you inhale a low amount of arsine you may experience within 2 to 24 hours of being exposed: weakness, headache, fatigue, rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, red or dark urine, confusion, muscle cramps, or yellow skin and eyes.[11] If you are exposed to a large amount, different symptoms may appear, such as: convulsions, loss of consciousness, respiratory failure, and paralysis. [12]

There isn't an antidote for arsine exposure. The best way to cure it is to avoid it. If you do get infected though, immediately leave the area where the arsine is. If you are exposed to arsine, you should take off your clothes and wash your entire body with soap and water very quickly. Then get medical care as quickly as possible. [13]

If you have been exposed for a long time, you could die. If you do not die, you probably will develop long-term effects such as: numbness, pain, kidney damage, and mental symptoms like irritability, confusion, and even memory loss. [14]