Editorial Feature

Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Semiconductors

Cadmium telluride is a crystalline compound formed from cadmium and tellurium. It is sandwiched with calcium sulfide to form a p-n junction photovoltaic solar cell. It has very low solubility in water and is etched by many acids such as hydrobromic and hydrochloric acids. It is commercially available as powder or crystals. It can also be made into nanocrystals.


Cadmium telluride finds applications in:

  • Thin-film solar cells
  • Infrared optics
  • Detectors
  • Electro-optic modulators
  • Crystal pieces for vacuum deposition

Chemical Properties

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

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula CdTe
Molecular Weight 240.01
CAS No. 1306-25-8
Group Cadmium – 12
Tellurium - 16
Crystal Structure Cubic
Lattice Constant 6.482 Å

Electrical Properties

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

Electrical Properties
Dielectric Constant 10.2
Band Gap 1.44 eV
Hole Mobility 65 cm2/Vs
Electron Mobility 700 cm2/Vs

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

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

Thermal Properties
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 5.9´10-6/K
Specific Heat Capacity 0.21 J/gK
Thermal Conductivity 0.06 W/cmK
Mechanical Properties
Density 5.85 g/cm3
Melting Point 1092°C
Boiling Point 1130°C
Young’s Modulus 3.7´1011 dyne/cm2
Rupture Modulus 2.2´108 dyne/cm2
Poisson Ratio 0.41
Optical Properties
Refractive Index 2.67

Safety Information

Safety Information
GHS Hazard Statements H302 - Harmful if swallowed
H312 - Harmful in contact with skin
H332 - Harmful if inhaled
H410 - Very toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.
Safety Precautions P273 - Avoid release to the environment
P280 - Wear protective gloves/ protective clothing
P501 - Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant.


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