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Mercury(II) selenide

Mercury(II) selenide
CAS number 20601-83-6
Molecular formula HgSe
Molar mass 279.55 g/mol
Density 8300 kg.m-3
Melting point

1270 K

Std enthalpy of
247 kJ.mol-1
Standard molar
heat capacity, cpo
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Mercury selenide (HgSe) is a chemical compound of mercury and selenium. It is a a grey-black crystalline solid semi-metal with a sphalerite structure. The lattice constant is 0.608 nm.

Mercury selenide can also refer to the following chemical compounds: HgSe2 and HgSe8. HgSe is strictly mercury(II) selenide.

HgSe occurs naturally as the mineral Tiemannite.

Along with other II-VI compounds, colloidal nanocrystals of HgSe can be formed.



  • Selenium is used in filters in some steel plants to remove mercury from exhaust gases. The solid product formed is HgSe.
  • HgSe can be used as an ohmic contact to wide-gap II-VI semconductors such as zinc selenide or zinc oxide.


HgSe is toxic due to the mercury content (see mercury poisoning). Toxic hydrogen selenide fumes can be evolved on exposure to acids. HgSe is a relatively stable compound which might mean that it is less toxic than elemental mercury or many organometallic mercury compounds.

See also


    • Resonant Phonon Scattering in Mercury Selenide, Donald A. Nelson, J. G. Broerman, E. C. Paxhia, and Charles R. Whitsett, Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 22, pp. 884–887 (1969) doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.22.884
    • Melting and Polymorphic Transitions for Some Group II-VI Compounds at High Pressures, A. Jayaraman, W. Klement, Jr., and G. C. Kennedy, Phys. Rev. vol. 130, pp. 2277–2283 (1963) doi:10.1103/PhysRev.130.2277
    • HgSe: Metal or Semiconductor?, K.-U. Gawlik, L. Kipp, and M. Skibowski, N. Orłowski and R. Manzke, Phys. Rev. Lett. vol. 78, pp. 3165–3168 (1997) doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.78.3165.
    • Dielectric properties of narrow-gap semiconductors, K. Kumazaki, Journal of Crystal Growth Volume 101, Issues 1-4 pages 687-690 (1990) doi:10.1016/0022-0248(90)91059-Y
    • SNV (1991) Guidelines on measures and methods for heavy metal emissions control. Solna, The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency – Naturvårdsverket.
    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mercury(II)_selenide". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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