The present invention describes the synthesis of a family of metal bis(borano) hypophosphite complexes. One procedure described in detail is the syntheses of complexes beginning from phosphorus trichloride and sodium borohydride. Temperature, solvent, concentration, and atmosphere are all critical to ensure product formation. In the case of sodium bis(borano) hypophosphite, hydrogen gas was evolved upon heating at temperatures above 150.degree. C. Included in this family of materials are the salts of the alkali metals Li, Na and K, and those of the alkaline earth metals Mg and Ca. Hydrogen storage materials are possible. In particular the lithium salt, Li[PH.sub.2(BH.sub.3).sub.2], theoretically would contain nearly 12 wt % hydrogen. Analytical data for product characterization and thermal properties are given.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between the United States Department of Energy and Sandia Corporation, for the operation of the Sandia National Laboratories.