Tellurium Dioxide (TeO2) – Properties and Applications

Tellurium Dioxide, has the symbol TeO2 is a solid oxide of tellurium. Tellurium metal was first discovered by Franz-Joseph Muller von Reichenstein, but it was Martin Heinrich Klaproth who named the element in 1798 after the Latin word for “earth”, Telus. It is encountered in two different forms, the yellow orthorhombic mineral tellurite, and the synthetic, colorless tetragonal (paratellurite).


Some basic properties of Tellurium Dioxide are listed below:

    Molecular formula TeO2
    Molar mass 159.60 g/mol
    Appearance tetragonal - white solid, orthorhombic - yellow solid
    Density 5.670 g/cm3 (tetragonal) 6.04 g/cm3 (orthorhombic)
    Melting point 733 °C
    Boiling point 1245 °C
    Solubility in water negligible
    Solubility soluble in acid and alkali
    EU Index Not listed
    Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
    Other cations Sulfur dioxide
Selenium dioxide
Related tellurium oxides
Tellurium trioxide

Fiber Optics

As Tellurium was named for the Latin word for “earth”, Telus, it seems no coincidence that is shares the same name for the Canadian telecommunications firm, Telus.

Tellurium dioxide is sometimes used to color ceramics. It has increasingly been used in optical refraction applications such as fiber optics and complimentary products. Because of its unique characteristics tellurium dioxide is an integral part of acousto-optic products as well as having good diffraction efficiency and it works very well at most power levels. It is even capable of being used for high speed or high resolution devices that need to handle high laser powers.

According to folks at the Fiber-Optics and Photonics Conference AVFOP 2011 and DelMarPhotonics, “the aerospace industry has made great strides in recent years deploying fiber optics and photonics technology on commercial and military platforms. This trend will continue to grow as avionics fiber optic system architectures, networking schemes, and components evolve and mature. In parallel with data and video transmission, photonics technology for analog/RF, flight control, free-space communication, and vehicle monitoring applications will have an increasing role in future aerospace platforms. This trend applies to all aspects of severe environment fiber optic component, systems, reliability, maintainability, producibility and supportability technology, and its future direction.”

As is the case with many advances in science, experiments with new breakthroughs are first created for military or space applications and they later trickle down to industrial, commercial and domestic use as they become more affordable. High purity tellurium dioxide is a central component for these trends to sustain and continue.

Future of Tellurium Dioxide

Tellurium Dioxide will remain the in the domain of specialized applications in the near future with anti-corrosive materials especially in batteries, conditional glass formers, and specifically in the acousto- optic materials and products. As science develops more efficiencies and breakthroughs, it is very encouraging to see how it can extend the reach of fiber optics above and beyond any current constraints. These new may increase the demand for high purity tellurium dioxide.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by AHP Materials.

For more information o this source, please visit AHP Materials.


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