Cadmium Selenide (CdSe) Semiconductors

Topics Covered

Chemical Properties
Electrical Properties
Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties
Safety Information


Cadmium selenide is a solid, binary compound of cadmium and selenium. It is an n-type semiconducting material that is transparent to infra-red light. However, p-type doping of cadmium selenide occurs using nitrogen. Wurtzite, sphalerite and rock-salt are the three known crystalline forms of cadmium selenide. Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal, and selenium is toxic in large amounts. Hence cadmium selenide is a known carcinogen to humans, and medical attention is required if swallowed or when eyes and skin come in contact with it. Most of the current research works are focused on developing controlled synthesis of cadmium selenide nanoparticles.


Cadmium selenide finds applications in :

  • Opto-electronic devices
  • Laser diodes
  • Biomedical imaging
  • Nanosensing
  • High-efficiency solar cells
  • Thin-film transistors

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of cadmium selenide are provided in the table below:

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula CdSe
Molecular Weight 191.37
CAS No. 1306-24-7
Group Cadmium 12
Selenium 16
Crystal Structure Wurtzite

Electrical Properties

The electrical properties of cadmium selenide are provided in the table below:

Electrical Properties
Electrical Resistivity a) low: < 1 Ω cm
b) high: > 1012Ω cm
Dielectric Constant 10.2
Band Gap 1.74 eV

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

The thermal, mechanical and optical properties of cadmium selenide are provided in the tables below:

Thermal Properties
Thermal Expansion Coefficient (@ 500K) 6.26x10-6/K
Specific Heat Capacity 0.49 J/g K
Thermal Conductivity (at 25°C) 0.04 W/cm K
Melting Point 1268°C
Mechanical Properties
Young’s Modulus 5x1011dyne/cm2
Optical Properties
Refractive Index 2.5

Safety Information

Safety Information
GHS Hazard Statements H301 - Toxic if swallowed
H312 - Harmful in contact with skin
H331 - Toxic if inhaled
H373 - May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure
H410 - Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
Safety Precautions P261- Avoid breathing dust, gas, fume, vapors, spray, mist.
P273 - Avoid release to the environment
P280 – Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection
P314 – If swallowed, call a poison center or doctor.

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