Lead(II) sulfide


Lead(II) sulfide
Sulfid olovnatý.PNG
Other names
Plumbous sulfide
Galena, Sulphuret of lead
  • 1314-87-0 checkY
3D model (JSmol)
  • Interactive image
  • 14135 checkY
ECHA InfoCard 100.013.861 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 215-246-6
  • 14819
RTECS number
  • OG4550000
  • 2425D15SYM checkY
UN number 3077
  • DTXSID0025498 Edit this at Wikidata
  • InChI=1S/Pb.S ☒N
  • [Pb]=S
Molar mass 239.30 g/mol
Appearance Black
Density 7.60 g/cm3[1]
Melting point 1,118 °C (2,044 °F; 1,391 K)
Boiling point 1,281 °C (2,338 °F; 1,554 K)
2.6×10−11 kg/kg (calculated, at pH=7)[2] 8.6×10−7 kg/kg[3]
−84.0·10−6 cm3/mol
Halite (cubic), cF8
Fm3m, No. 225
a = 5.936 Å[4]
Octahedral (Pb2+)
Octahedral (S2−)
46.02 J/mol⋅K
91.3 J/mol
–98.7 kJ/mol
GHS labelling:
GHS07: Exclamation markGHS08: Health hazardGHS09: Environmental hazard
H302, H332, H360, H373, H410
P201, P202, P260, P261, P264, P270, P271, P273, P281, P301+P312, P304+P312, P304+P340, P308+P313, P312, P314, P330, P391, P405, P501
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flash point Non-flammable
Safety data sheet (SDS) External MSDS
Related compounds
Other anions
Lead(II) oxide
Lead selenide
Lead telluride
Other cations
Carbon monosulfide
Silicon monosulfide
Germanium(II) sulfide
Tin(II) sulfide
Related compounds
Thallium sulfide
Lead(IV) sulfide
Bismuth sulfide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Lead(II) sulfide (also spelled sulphide) is an inorganic compound with the formula PbS. Galena is the principal ore and the most important compound of lead. It is a semiconducting material with niche uses.

Formation, basic properties, related materials

Addition of hydrogen sulfide or sulfide salts to a solution containing a lead salt, such as PbCl2, gives a black precipitate of lead sulfide.

Pb2+ + H2S → PbS↓ + 2 H+

This reaction is used in qualitative inorganic analysis. The presence of hydrogen sulfide or sulfide ions may be tested using "lead acetate paper."

Like the related materials PbSe and PbTe, PbS is a semiconductor.[5] In fact, lead sulfide was one of the earliest materials to be used as a semiconductor.[6] Lead sulfide crystallizes in the sodium chloride motif, unlike many other IV-VI semiconductors.

Since PbS is the main ore of lead, much effort has focused on its conversion. A major process involves smelting of PbS followed by reduction of the resulting oxide. Idealized equations for these two steps are:[7]

2 PbS + 3 O2 → 2 PbO + 2 SO2
PbO + C → Pb + CO

The sulfur dioxide is converted to sulfuric acid.


Lead sulfide-containing nanoparticle and quantum dots have been well studied.[8] Traditionally, such materials are produced by combining lead salts with a variety of sulfide sources.[9][10] PbS nanoparticles have been recently examined for use in solar cells.[11]


Although of little commercial value, PbS is one of the oldest and most common detection element materials in various infrared detectors.[12] As an infrared detector, PbS functions as a photon detector, responding directly to the photons of radiation, as opposed to thermal detectors, which respond to a change in detector element temperature caused by the radiation. A PbS element can be used to measure radiation in either of two ways: by measuring the tiny photocurrent the photons cause when they hit the PbS material, or by measuring the change in the material's electrical resistance that the photons cause. Measuring the resistance change is the more commonly used method. At room temperature, PbS is sensitive to radiation at wavelengths between approximately 1 and 2.5 μm. This range corresponds to the shorter wavelengths in the infra-red portion of the spectrum, the so-called short-wavelength infrared (SWIR). Only very hot objects emit radiation in these wavelengths.

Cooling the PbS elements, for example using liquid nitrogen or a Peltier element system, shifts its sensitivity range to between approximately 2 and 4 μm. Objects that emit radiation in these wavelengths still have to be quite hot—several hundred degrees Celsius—but not as hot as those detectable by uncooled sensors. (Other compounds used for this purpose include indium antimonide (InSb) and mercury-cadmium telluride (HgCdTe), which have somewhat better properties for detecting the longer IR wavelengths.) The high dielectric constant of PbS leads to relatively slow detectors (compared to silicon, germanium, InSb, or HgCdTe).

PbS was once used as a black pigment.

Planetary science

Elevations above 2.6 km (1.63 mi) on the planet Venus are coated with a shiny substance. Though the composition of this coat is not entirely certain, one theory is that Venus "snows" crystallized lead sulfide much as Earth snows frozen water. If this is the case, it would be the first time the substance was identified on a foreign planet. Other less likely candidates for Venus' "snow" are bismuth sulfide and tellurium.[13]


Lead(II) sulfide is so insoluble that it is almost nontoxic, but pyrolysis of the material, as in smelting, gives dangerous fumes.[14] Lead sulfide is insoluble and a stable compound in the pH of blood and so is probably one of the less toxic forms of lead.[15] A large safety risk occurs in the synthesis of PbS using lead carboxylates, as they are particularly soluble and can cause negative physiological conditions.


  1. ^ Patnaik, Pradyot (2003). Handbook of Inorganic Chemical Compounds. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-049439-8. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  2. ^ W. Linke (1965). Solubilities. Inorganic and Metal-Organic Compounds. Vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society. p. 1318.
  3. ^ Ronald Eisler (2000). Handbook of Chemical Risk Assessment. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-56670-506-6.
  4. ^ "Lead sulfide (PBS) crystal structure, lattice parameters, thermal expansion - SpringerMaterials".
  5. ^ Vaughan, D. J.; Craig, J. R. (1978). Mineral Chemistry of Metal Sulfides. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-21489-6.;
  6. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Sulfur. Encyclopedia of Earth, eds. A.Jorgensen and C.J.Cleveland, National Council for Science and the environment, Washington DC Archived 2012-10-28 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Charles A. Sutherland; Edward F. Milner; Robert C. Kerby; Herbert Teindl; Albert Melin; Hermann M. Bolt (2005). "Lead". Lead. in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a15_193.pub2. ISBN 978-3527306732.
  8. ^ "The Quantum Mechanics of Larger Semiconductor Clusters ("Quantum Dots")". Annual Review of Physical Chemistry. 41 (1): 477–496. 1990-01-01. Bibcode:1990ARPC...41..477B. doi:10.1146/annurev.pc.41.100190.002401.
  9. ^ Zhou, H. S.; Honma, I.; Komiyama, H.; Haus, Joseph W. (2002-05-01). "Coated semiconductor nanoparticles; the cadmium sulfide/lead sulfide system's synthesis and properties". The Journal of Physical Chemistry. 97 (4): 895–901. doi:10.1021/j100106a015.
  10. ^ Wang, Wenzhong; Liu, Yingkai; Zhan, Yongjie; Zheng, Changlin; Wang, Guanghou (2001-09-15). "A novel and simple one-step solid-state reaction for the synthesis of PbS nanoparticles in the presence of a suitable surfactant". Materials Research Bulletin. 36 (11): 1977–1984. doi:10.1016/S0025-5408(01)00678-X.
  11. ^ Lee, HyoJoong; Leventis, Henry C.; Moon, Soo-Jin; Chen, Peter; Ito, Seigo; Haque, Saif A.; Torres, Tomas; Nüesch, Frank; Geiger, Thomas (2009-09-09). "PbS and CdS Quantum Dot-Sensitized Solid-State Solar Cells: "Old Concepts, New Results"". Advanced Functional Materials. 19 (17): 2735–2742. doi:10.1002/adfm.200900081. ISSN 1616-3028.
  12. ^ Putley, E H; Arthur, J B (1951). "Lead Sulphide – An Intrinsic Semiconductor". Proceedings of the Physical Society. Series B. 64 (7): 616–618. doi:10.1088/0370-1301/64/7/110.
  13. ^ "'Heavy metal' snow on Venus is lead sulfide". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
  14. ^ "Lead sulfide MSDS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
  15. ^ Fritz Bischoff; L. C. Maxwell; Richard D. Evens; Franklin R. Nuzum (1928). "Studies on the Toxicity of Various Lead Compounds Given Intravenously". Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 34 (1): 85–109.

External links

  • Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM): Lead Toxicity
  • ToxFAQs: Lead
  • National Pollutant Inventory – Lead and Lead Compounds Fact Sheet