|Molar mass||286.16 g/mol|
1078 °C, 1351 K, 1972 °F
|Crystal structure||Halite (cubic), cF8|
|Space group||Fm3m, No. 225|
|EU classification||Repr. Cat. 1/3
Dangerous for the environment (N)
|R-phrases||R61, R20/22, R23/25, R33, R62, R50/53|
|S-phrases||(S1/2), S20/21, S28, S53, S45, S60, S61|
|Other anions||Lead(II) oxide
|Other cations||Carbon monoselenide
|Related compounds||Thallium selenide
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Lead selenide (PbSe), or lead(II) selenide, a selenide of lead, is a semiconductor material. It forms cubic crystals of the NaCl structure; it has a direct bandgap of 0.27 eV at room temperature. (Note that incorrectly identifies PbSe and other IV–VI semiconductors as indirect gap materials.) It is a grey crystalline solid material.
It is used for manufacture of infrared detectors for thermal imaging, operating at wavelengths between 1.5–5.2 µm. It does not require cooling, but performs better at lower temperatures. The peak sensitivity depends on temperature and varies between 3.7–4.7 µm.
Single crystal nanorods and polycrystalline nanotubes of lead selenide have been synthesized via controlled organism membranes. The diameter of the nanorods were approx. 45 nm and their length was up to 1100 nm, for nanotubes the diameter was 50 nm and the length up to 2000 nm.
Infrared detection 
PbSe is one of the first materials sensitive to the infrared radiation used for military applications. Early research works on the material as infrared detector were carried out during the 1930s and the first useful devices were processed by Germans, Americans and British during and just after World War II. Since then, PbSe has been commonly used as an infrared photodetector in multiple applications, from spectrometers for gas and flame detection to infrared fuzes for artillery ammunition or Passive Infrared Cueing systems (PICs).
As a sensitive material to the infrared radiation, PbSe has unique and outstanding characteristics: it can detect IR radiation of wavelengths from 1.5 to 5.2 microns (mid-wave infrared window, abbreviated MWIR - in some special conditions it is possible to extend its response beyond 6 microns), it has a high detectivity at room temperature (uncooled performance), and due to its quantum nature, it also presents a very fast response, which makes this material an excellent candidate as detector of low cost high speed infrared imagers.
Theory of operation 
PbSe is a photoconductor material. Its detection mechanism is based on a change of conductivity of a polycrystalline thin-film of the active material when photons are incident. These photons are absorbed inside the PbSe micro-crystals causing then the promotion of electrons from the valence band to the conduction band. Even though it has been extensively studied, today the mechanisms responsible of its high detectivity at room temperature are not well understood. What is widely accepted is that the material and the polycrystalline nature of the active thin film play a key role in both the reduction of the Auger mechanism and the reduction of the dark current associated with the presence of multiple intergrain depletion regions and potential barriers inside the polycrystalline thin films.
Methods to manufacture PbSe infrared detectors 
Two methods are commonly used nowadays to manufacture infrared detectors based on PbSe.
Chemical bath deposition (CBD) 
CBD is the classic manufacturing method (also known as the "standard" method). It was developed in USA during 60´s and is based on the precipitation of the active material on a substrate rinsed in a controlled bath with selenourea, lead acetate, potassium iodine and other compouds. CBD method has been extensively used during last decades and is still used for processing PbSe infrared detectors. Because of technological limitations associated to this method of processing, nowadays the biggest CBD PbSe detector format commercialized is a linear array of 1x256 elements.
Vapour phase deposition (VPD) 
This new processing method has been recently developed in Spain. It is based on the deposition of the active material by thermal evaporation, followed by specific thermal treatments. This method has an intrinsic advantage compared with the CBD method, which is the compatibility with preprocessed substrates, like Silicon CMOS-technology wafers, and the possibility of processing complex detectors, such as the focal plane arrays for imagers. In fact, this has been the most important milestone in the last decades concerning the manufacturing of PbSe detectors, as it has opened the technology to the market of uncooled MWIR high - resolution imaging cameras with high - frame rates and reduced costs.
Main Applications of the PbSe Detectors 
- Gas analysis
- Flame analysis
- Infrared spectroscopy
- Industrial process and quality control:
- Hot spot detection
- High speed infrared imaging:
- Fire detection
- Environmental control
Main manufacturers of PbSe IR detectors 
- VPD method
- New Infrared Technologies (Company Web Site)
- CBD method
See also 
- Infrared detector
- Black body radiation
- Hyperspectral imaging
- Infrared camera
- Infrared filter
- Infrared homing
- Infrared signature
- Infrared solar cells
- Infrared spectroscopy
- Other infrared detector materials: Indium antimonide, Indium arsenide, Lead sulfide, QWIP, QDIP, Mercury cadmium telluride, PbS, Microbolometers, InGaAs
- Kittel, Charles (1986). Introduction to Solid State Physics (6th ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-87474-4.
- Lawson, W. D. (1951). "A Method of Growing Single Crystals of Lead Telluride and Lead Selenide". Journal of Applied Physics 22 (12): 1444. doi:10.1063/1.1699890.
- Li, L.; Wu, Q. S.; Ding, Y. P. (2004). "Living bio-membrane bi-template route for simultaneous synthesis of lead selenide nanorods and nanotubes". Nanotechnology 15 (12): 1877. doi:10.1088/0957-4484/15/12/033.
- Lowell, D.J. (1968). Some Early Lead Salt Detectors Developments. University of Michigan.
- Vergara, G. et al (2007). Polycrystalline Lead Selenide. The Resurgence of an old IR Detector. Opto Electronics Review 15.
- Johnson, T.H. (1965). Solutions and methods for depositing lead selenide. U.S. Patent 3.178.312.
- Method of Treating Polycrystalline Lead Selenide Infrared Detectors. Spanish Ministry of Defence Patent EP1852920.
- Vergara, G. et al (2011). VPD PbSe Technology fills the existing gap in uncooled, low cost and fast IR imagers. Proc. of SPIE vol 8012 - 146.
- Barrow, R. F.; Vago, E. E. (1944). "An emission band-system of PbSe". Proceedings of the Physical Society 56 (2): 76. doi:10.1088/0959-5309/56/2/302.