Phosphine is the common name for Phosphorus Trihydride (PH3), also known as phosphane and, occasionally, phosphamine. It is a colorless, flammable gas with a boiling point of -88 °C at standard pressure.
Pure Phosphine is odourless, but technical grade Phosphine has a highly unpleasant odor like garlic or rotting fish, due to the presence of substituted Phosphine and Diphosphine (P2H4). Phosphine is highly toxic; it kills at low concentrations. Because of this, the gas is used for pest control by fumigation.
Phosphine is also used as a dopant in the semiconductor industry, and a precursor for the deposition of compound semiconductors. Recently high purity tertiary butyl phosphine (TBP) has been developed as a less hazardous liquid alternative to highly toxic phosphine gas, for application in Metalorganic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE) of III-V compound semiconductors.
An Phosphine (PH3) detector can be used to measure the concentration in the air. There are many gas detectors on the market, Airmet can help you selecting the correct model for you application. Give us a call or use the product selector below.
Phospine Characteristics
Synonyms Phosphorous trihydride, Hydrogen phosphide
CAS No. 7803-51-2
Chemical formula PH3
Vapour density 1.18 (air = 1)
Safe Work Australia ES TWA 0.3 ppm
STEL 1 ppm
Flammable limits LEL 1.79 % by volume
(ref: )
Equipment group ---
Temperature classification ---
Chemical/physical properties Phosphine at room temperature is a colourless gas and although it is odourless when pure, impurities present when it is formed under natural conditions, give it an unpleasant garlic-like/rotting fish odour. This odour is usually not detected by smell below about 0.5 ppm. 
Phosphine is flammable with an ignition temperature of between 40 – 65 °C but may ignite spontaneously at room temperature due to impurities.
Hazardous properties Phosphine if inhaled is a severe respiratory irritant, prolonged exposure leading to breathing difficulties, pulmonary oedema and possible effects on the gastrointestinal and central nervous systems.  
Occurrence/Uses Phosphine is used extensively to fumigate grain, food products and tobacco. It is produced by the action of atmospheric humidity on pellets of aluminium phosphide.
It is also used as a doping agent in semiconductor production.
Detectors available Electrochemical (0 – 5 ppm and 0 – 1,000 ppm)
Gas detector tube (0.05 – 6,000 ppm)
Colorimetric paper tape (0 -1,500 ppb)
Suggested alarm levels Lo: 0.3 ppm
Hi: 1 ppm


NEW | SKC Chek-Mate Air Sample Pump Calibrator

The latest Air Sample Pump Calibrator from SKC Inc.

Learn More

Product Catalogue

Click here to download the latest Air-Met Product Catalogue. To receive a printed copy, please contact Air-Met today.

Book a Service Job

Instruments due for a service?

Book a Service Job