Telluride (chemistry)

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ChemSpider 19241429 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula Te2−
Molar mass 127.6 g mol-1
Related compounds
Other anions Sulfide
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
Infobox references

The telluride ion is the term for the anion Te2− and its derivatives. Telluride is member of the series of dianions O2−, S2−, and Se2− (see chalcogenide).[1]

H2Te, HTe-, and Te2-[edit]

Hydrogen telluride, H2Te, is acidic hydride of tellurium. In aqueous solution it dissociates into the hydrogen telluride ion, HTe. In aqueous solution, Te2− exists only at high pH. For this reason, solutions of sodium telluride (Na2Te) are rather basic.

Organotellurium compounds[edit]

Tellurides also describe a class of organotellurium compounds formally derived from Te2−. An illustrative member is dimethyl telluride. Such compounds are often called telluroethers because they are structurally related although the length of the C-Te bond is much longer than a C-O bond. C-Te-C angles tend to be closer to 90°.

Inorganic tellurides[edit]

Many metal tellurides are known, including some telluride minerals. Although the bonding in such materials is often fairly covalent, they are described casually as salts of Te2−. Using this approach, Ag2Te is derived from Ag+.

The minerals include natural gold tellurides, like calaverite and krennerite (AuTe2), and sylvanite (AgAuTe4). Commercially, the tellurides are minor ores of gold, although they comprise the major naturally-occurring compounds of gold. (A few other natural compounds of gold, such as the bismuthide maldonite (Au2Bi) and antimonide aurostibite (AuSb2), are known).

Tellurides of economic importance for their physical properties are those of cadmium, bismuth, and lead. Cadmium telluride has photovoltaic activity. Bismuth telluride and lead telluride are exceptional thermoelectric materials.[2]


  1. ^ Greenwood, N. N.; & Earnshaw, A. (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd Edn.), Oxford:Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-7506-3365-4.
  2. ^ "The Thespian Catalyst", David Saltzberg

See category for a list.