Lead Telluride (PbTe) Semiconductors

Topics Covered

Chemical Properties
Electrical Properties
Thermal and Mechanical Properties
Safety Information


Lead telluride is a compound of lead and tellurium that occurs naturally in the mineral altaite. It is a narrow gap semiconductor that has low thermal conductivity, and hence it can be used as a thermoelectric material. It is often alloyed with tin to make lead tin telluride.


Lead telluride finds applications in the following:

  • Infrared detection and imaging
  • Solar cells.

Chemical Properties

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

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula PbTe
Molecular Weight 334.8
CAS No. 1314-91-6
Group Lead – 14
Tellurium - 16
Crystal Structure Cubic
Lattice Constant 6.454 Å

Electrical Properties

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

Electrical Properties
Band Gap 0.25 eV
Electron Mobility 1600 cm2/Vs
Hole Mobility 600 cm2/Vs

Thermal and Mechanical Properties

The thermal and mechanical properties of lead telluride are provided in the tables below:

Thermal Properties
Heat of Formation 393 kJ/mol
Thermal Conductivity 2.30 W/mK
Mechanical Properties
Density 8.16 g/cm3
Melting Point 907°C
Mohs Hardness 3

Safety Information

Safety Information
GHS Hazard Statements H302 - Harmful if swallowed
H332 - Harmful if inhaled
H360Df - May damage the unborn child. Suspected of damaging fertility
H373 - May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure
H410 - Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
Safety Precautions P201 - Obtain special instructions before use
P273 - Avoid release to the environment
P308 + P313 - If exposed or concerned: Get medical advice/ attention
P501 - Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    ESPI Metals. (2018, May 15). Lead Telluride (PbTe) Semiconductors. AZoM. Retrieved on October 23, 2020 from https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=8431.

  • MLA

    ESPI Metals. "Lead Telluride (PbTe) Semiconductors". AZoM. 23 October 2020. <https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=8431>.

  • Chicago

    ESPI Metals. "Lead Telluride (PbTe) Semiconductors". AZoM. https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=8431. (accessed October 23, 2020).

  • Harvard

    ESPI Metals. 2018. Lead Telluride (PbTe) Semiconductors. AZoM, viewed 23 October 2020, https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=8431.


  1. Adam Wilson Adam Wilson United States says:

    Is the Seebeck coefficient known for this material?

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoM.com.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback