Sodium selenide

Sodium selenide is an inorganic compound of sodium and selenium with the chemical formula Na2Se.

Sodium selenide
IUPAC name
sodium selenide
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.013.830
EC Number
  • 215-212-0
Molar mass 124.951 g·mol−1
Density 2.62 g cm−3[1]
Melting point >875 °C [1]
reacts with water
Cubic (fluorite), cF12
Fm3m, No. 225
a = 0.6825 nm
Related compounds
Other anions
Sodium sulfide
Sodium telluride
Sodium oxide
Other cations
Hydrogen selenide
Antimony selenide
Aluminum selenide
Related compounds
Sodium selenite
Sodium selenate
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


This colourless solid is prepared by the reaction of selenium with a solution of sodium in liquid ammonia at −40 °C.[3] Alternatively, sodium selenide can be prepared by the reaction of gaseous hydrogen selenide with metallic sodium at 100 °C.


Like other alkali metal chalcogenides, this material is highly sensitive to water, easily undergoing hydrolysis to give mixtures of sodium biselenide (NaSeH) and hydroxide. This hydrolysis occurs because of the extreme basicity of the Se2− ion.

Na2Se + H2O → NaHSe + NaOH

Similarly, sodium selenide is readily oxidized to polyselenides, a conversion signaled by off-white samples.

Sodium selenide reacts with acids to produce toxic hydrogen selenide gas.

Na2Se + 2 HCl → H2Se + 2 NaCl

The compound reacts with electrophiles to produce the selenium compounds. With alkyl halides, one obtains a variety of organoselenium compounds:

Na2Se + 2 RBr → R2Se + 2 NaBr

Organotin and organosilicon halides react similarly to give the expected derivatives:

Na2Se + 2 Me3XCl → (Me3X)2Se + 2 NaCl (X Si, Ge, Sn)


  1. Haynes, William M., ed. (2016). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (97th ed.). CRC Press. p. 4.87. ISBN 9781498754293.
  2. Bonneau, Philippe R.; Jarvis, Robert F.; Kaner, Richard B. (1992). "Solid-state metathesis as a quick route to transition-metal mixed dichalcogenides". Inorganic Chemistry. 31 (11): 2127–2132. doi:10.1021/ic00037a027.
  3. Brauer, G. ed. (1963) Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd Ed., Academic Press, NY., Vol. 1. p. 421.

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