Editorial Feature

Zinc Selenide (ZnSe) Semiconductors

Topics Covered

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


Zinc selenide is a light yellow binary solid compound that rarely occurs in nature. It is a chemically inert, non-hygroscopic and highly pure material largely found in the mineral stilleite. It is effective in many optical applications owing to its high resistance to thermal shock, stability in virtually all environments and extremely low bulk losses.


Zinc selenide finds applications in the following:

  • Light emitting diodes
  • Infrared laser gain medium
  • X-ray and gamma ray detectors
  • Optical windows
  • Lenses
  • Mirrors.

Chemical Properties

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

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula ZnSe
Molecular Weight 144.35
CAS No. 1315-09-9
Group Zinc – 12
Selenium - 16
Crystal Structure Cubic
Lattice Constant 5.6676 Å

Electrical Properties

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

Electrical Properties
Dielectric Constant 9.2
Band Gap 2.58 eV
Electron Mobility 540 cm2/Vs
Hole Mobility 28 cm2/Vs

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

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

Thermal Properties
Heat of Formation 422 kJ/mol
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 720 µm/m°C
Specific Heat Capacity 0.339 J/g°C
Thermal Conductivity 14 W/mK
Mechanical Properties
Melting Point 1517°C
Density 5.42 g/cm3
Young’s Modulus 67.2 GPa
Bulk Modulus 40 GPa
Poisson Ratio 0.28
Knoop Microhardness 1350
Optical Properties
Transmission Range 0.5 – 20 microns
Refractive Index 2.89

Safety Information

Safety Information
GHS Hazard Statements H301 - Toxic if swallowed
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/ fume/ gas/ mist/ vapors/ spray
P273 - Avoid release to the environment
P301 + P310 - IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician
P311 - Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/ physician
P501 - Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant.


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