In chemistry, a borane is a chemical compound of boron and hydrogen. The boranes comprise a large group of compounds with the generic formulae of BxHy. These compounds do not occur in nature. Many of the boranes readily oxidise on contact with air, some violently. The parent member BH3 is called borane, but it is known only in the gaseous state, and dimerises to formdiborane, B2H6. The larger boranes all consist of boron clusters that are polyhedral, some of which exist as isomers. For example, isomers of B20H26 are based on the fusion of two 10-atom clusters.
The most important boranes are diborane B2H6, pentaborane B5H9, and decaborane B10H14.
The development of the chemistry of boron hydrides led to new experimental techniques and theoretical concepts. Boron hydrides have been studied as potential fuels, for rockets and for automotive uses.
Over the past several decades, the scope of boron hydride chemistry has grown to include cages containing atoms other than boron, such as carbon in the carboranes and metals in the metallaboranes, wherein one or more boron atoms are substituted by metal atoms.