Sodium selenide

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Sodium selenide
CAS number 1313-85-5 YesY
PubChem 73973
EC number 215-212-0
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula Na2Se
Molar mass 124.94 g mol−1
Appearance white solid
Density 2.62 g cm−3[1]
Melting point >875 °C
Solubility in water reacts with water
Related compounds
Other anions Sodium sulfide
Sodium telluride
Sodium oxide
Other cations Hydrogen selenide
Antimony selenide
Aluminum selenide
Related compounds Sodium selenite
Sodium selenate
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Infobox references

Sodium selenide is an inorganic compound of sodium and selenium with the chemical formula Na2Se. This colourless solid is prepared by the reaction of selenium with a solution of sodium in ammonia.[2] Like other alkali metal chalcogenides, this material is highly sensitive to water, easily undergoing hydrolysis to give mixtures of sodium biselenide (NaSeH) and hydroxide. This hydrolysis occurs because of the extreme basicity of the Se2- ion.

Na2Se + H2O → NaHSe + NaOH

Similarly, sodium selenide is readily oxidized to polyselenides, a conversion signaled by off-white samples.

Sodium selenide reacts with acids to produce toxic hydrogen selenide gas.

Na2Se + 2 HCl → H2Se + 2 NaCl

The compound reacts with electrophiles to produce the selenium compounds. With alkyl halides, one obtains a variety of organoselenium compounds:

Na2Se + 2 RBr → R2Se + 2 NaBr

Organotin and organosilicon halides react similarly to give the expected derivatives:

Na2Se + 2 Me3ECl → (Me3E)2Se + 2 NaCl (E = Si, Ge, Sn)


Sodium selenide should be stored and handled away from moisture and air.


  1. ^ David R. Lide (ed.). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (90th ed.). ISBN 978-1-4200-9084-0. 
  2. ^ Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd Ed. Edited by G. Brauer, Academic Press, 1963, NY. Vol. 1. p. 421.