Lead (II) Sulfide (PbS) Semiconductors

Topics Covered

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


Lead sulfide is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula PbS. It is also known as galena, which is the principal ore and important compound of lead. It is one of the earliest materials to be used as a semiconductor as it tends to crystallize in sodium chloride. Lead sulfide is toxic if it is heated to decomposition, which forms lead and sulfur oxides.


Lead sulfide finds applications in the following:

  • Infrared detectors
  • Photo optic applications
  • Slip property modifier used in friction industry for enhancing heat conduction and regulating friction coefficient.

Chemical Properties

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

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula PbS
Molecular Weight 239.30
CAS No. 1314-87-0
Group Lead - 14
Sulfur - 16
Crystal Structure Cubic
Symmetry Group Fm3m
Lattice Constant 5.936 Å

Electrical Properties

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

Electrical Properties
Magnetic Susceptibility -0.0000836
Band Gap 0.37 eV
Electron Mobility 600 cm2/Vs
Hole Mobility 600 cm2/Vs

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

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

Thermal Properties
Heat of Fusion 72 J/g
Heat of Formation 435 kJ/mol
Thermal Conductivity 2.30 W/mK
Mechanical Properties
Density 7.61 g/cm3
Melting Point 1117°C
Mohs Hardness 2.5
Optical Properties
Refractive Index 3.91

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.

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