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Mercury(II) telluride

Mercury telluride (HgTe) is a binary chemical compound of mercury and tellurium. It is a semi-metal related to the II-VI group of semiconductor materials. Alternative names are mercuric telluride and mercury (II) telluride.

HgTe occurs in nature as the mineral form coloradoite.

Namemercury telluride
Chemical FormulaHgTe
Appearancenear black cubic crystals
CAS number[12068-90-5]
Formula weight328.19 u
Lattice constant0.646 nm
Crystal structurezincblende
State of matter at STPsolid
Melting point at SP943 K
Boiling point at SP?
Specific gravity8.1
Band gap at 300 K-0.01 eV
Electron effective mass0.002 me
Light hole effective mass0.002 me
Heavy hole effective mass0.6 me
Electron mobility at 300 K15000 cm²/(V·s)
Hole mobility at 300 K8000 cm²/(V·s)
NFPA 704
Decomposition productsHighly toxic mercury and tellurium fumes
SI units were used where possible.



All properties are at standard temperature and pressure unless stated otherwise. The lattice parameter is about 0.646 nm in the cubic crystalline form. The bulk modulus is about 42.1 GPa. The thermal expansion coefficient is about 5.2x10-6.K-1. Static dielectric constant 20.8, dynamic dielectric constant 15.1. Thermal conductivity is low at 2.7W.m-1.K-1. HgTe bonds are weak leading to low hardness values. Hardness 2.7x107 kg. m-2.


n-type doping can be achieved with elements such as boron, aluminium, gallium or indium. Iodine and iron will also dope n-type. HgTe is naturally p-type due to mercury vacancies. P-type doping is also achieved by introducing zinc, copper, silver or gold.


HgTe bonds are weak. Their enthalpy of formation, around -32kJ/mol, is less than a third of the value for the related compound cadmium telluride. HgTe is easily etched by acids, such as hydrobromic acid.


Bulk growth is from a mercury and tellurium melt in the presence of a high mercury vapour pressure. HgTe can also be grown epitaxially, for example, by sputtering or by metalorganic vapour phase epitaxy.

See also

Related compounds

  • Cadmium telluride
  • HgSe
  • HgCdTe


  • Properties of mercury cadmium telluride, Ed. J. Brice and P. Capper, EMIS datareview, (INSPEC, IEE, London, UK, 1987).
  • Properties of Narrow-Gap Cadmium-Based Compounds Ed. P. Capper (INSPEC, IEE, London, UK, 1994) ISBN 0-85296-880-9
  • Tellurium and Tellurides, D. M. Chizhikov and V. P. Shchastlivyi, 1966, Nauka Publishing, Moscow
  • Mercury selenide stoichiometry and phase relations in the mercury-selenium system, N. Z. Boctor and G. Kullerud, Journal of Solid State Chemistry Vol. 62, pp. 177-183 (1986) doi:10.1016/0022-4596(86)90229-X
  • Total-energy study of the equation of state of HgTe and HgSe, Z. W. Lu, David Singh, and Henry Krakauer, Phys. Rev. B vol. 39, pp. 10154 (1989).

External links

  • Thermophysical properties database at Germany's Chemistry Information Centre, Berlin
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mercury(II)_telluride". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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