Zinc Sulfide (ZnS) Semiconductors


Zinc sulfide is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula ZnS. It mainly occurs in the minerals sphalerite and wurtzite. Both sphalerite and wurtzite are intrinsic, wide-band gap semiconductors. Zinc sulfide is transparent and white in color. It is usually produced from waste materials, and it is also a by-product of ammonia synthesis using methane.


Zinc sulfide finds applications in the following:

  • It is commonly used as a white pigment
  • Detector of alpha-rays, which render it luminescent
  • Infrared optics
  • It is used as phosphor in several applications, including X-ray screens and cathode ray tubes.

Chemical Properties

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

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula ZnS
Molecular Weight 97.46
CAS No. 1314-98-3
Group Zinc – 12
Sulfur - 16
Crystal Structure Cubic
Lattice Constant 5.4093 Å

Electrical Properties

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

Electrical Properties
Dielectric Constant 8.9
Band Gap 3.54 eV
Electron Mobility 180 cm2/Vs
Hole Mobility 5 cm2/Vs

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

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

Thermal Properties
Heat of Fusion 390 J/g
Heat of Formation 477 kJ/mol
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 6.36 µm/m°C
Specific Heat Capacity 0.472 J/g°C
Thermal Conductivity 25.1 W/mK
Mechanical Properties
Density 4.079 g/cm3
Melting Point 1850°C
Flexural Strength 103 MPa
Modulus of Elasticity 75 GPa
Poisson’s Ratio 0.27
Mohs Hardness 3.8
Knoop Hardness 1780
Optical Properties
Refractive Index 2.356

Safety Information

Safety Information
GHS Hazard Statements H314 - Causes skin irritation
H319 - Causes eye irritation
H331 - Harmful if inhaled.
Safety Precautions P210 - Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces – No smoking
P233 - Keep container tightly closed
P262 - Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing
P281 - Use personal protective equipment as required
P309+311: IF exposed or you feel unwell: Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician.



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