Soman is also described as 1,2,2-Trimethylpropyl methylphosphonofluoridate; 1,2,2,-Trimethylpropoxyfluoromethylphosphine oxide; Methylpinacolyloxyfluorophosphine oxide; Pinacolyloxymethylphosphonyl fluoride; Pinacolyl methanefluorophosphonate; Methylfluoropinacolylphosphonate; Fluoromethylpinacolyloxyphosphine Oxide; Methylpinacolyloxyphosphonyl fluoride; Pinacolyl methylfluorophosphonate. Its empirical formula is CH3P(O)(F)OCH(CH3)C(CH3)3 or C7H16FOP
Soman was discovered by Richard Kuhn in Germany in 1944, and represented the last wartime discovery (GF was not found until 1949.) Soman was given the identifier GD post-war (GC was already in medical use) when the information relating to Soman was recovered by the Soviet Union from its hiding place in a mine. It is a volative, corrosive and colourless liquid with a faint odour when pure, more commonly it is a yellow to brown color and has a stronger odour described as camphor. The LCt50 for Soman is 70 mg-min/m³ in humans. It is both more lethal and more persistent that Sarin or Tabun.
GD can be thickened for use as a chemical spray using an acryloid copolymer.