A solvent for tellurium

22 April 2014 - Inorgo

a_solution_of_tellurium.PNG Webber et al. report a new method for the synthesis of tin telluride, a compound of some relevance as semiconductor (DOI). The avenue towards the new method was opened by the development of a new solvent system for elemental tellurium. The researchers note that tellurium has a poor solubility record but after collecting some clues from the literature they came up with a novel 1:4 mixture by volume of ethanethiol and ethylenediamine that at room temperature allows for up to 10% by weight in Te. Solubility in either solvent was zero and curiously, replacing ethanethiol by n-propanethiol also eradicated solubility.
Elemental tin was then be added at 60°C and is soluble only because tellurium is already present. The so-called Sn-Te ink was then stripped of solvent at 260°C to the final product.