Tellurium • Metalloid

Primary XPS region:Te3d
Overlapping regions:Cr2p, Ag3p3/2
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical stateBinding energy Te3d5/2/eV
Te metal537.0
Te oxide576.3

Native oxide charge referenced to metal peak.

Experimental Information

  • If trying to differentiate between chromium and tellurium, collect entire Te3d region (550eV–600eV), making sure both Te3d5/2 and Te3d3/2 components are acquired.

Interpretation of XPS spectra

  • Te3d region has well separated spin-orbit components (Δmetal=10.4eV).
    • Peak shape for tellurium metal is approximately symmetric.
  • Direct overlap between Te3d and Cr2p peaks.
    • Although Te3d / Cr2p peaks have strong overlap, Te3d spin-orbit components have a 3:2 intensity ratio compared to a 2:1 ratio for Cr2p.
    • Check for the weaker Te3p peaks, if tellurium concentration is high enough.

crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: Te
Date of Discovery: 1782
Name Origin: Greek tellus
Appearance: silverish
Discoverer: Franz Muller von Reichenstein
Obtained From: lead, copper refinement

Melting Point: 722.65 K
Boiling Point: 1262.95 K
Density[kg/m3]: 6240
Molar Volume: 20.46 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 52
Neutrons: 76
Shell Structure: 2,8,18,18,6
Electron Configuration: [Kr]4d105s25p4
Oxidation State: ±2,4,6
Crystal Structure: hexagonal

F. J. Muller von Reichenstein, a Romanian mining official, discovered the silver-white metalloid tellurium in 1782. While being found free in nature, tellurium is most frequently found as the telluride of gold (calaverite) and several other ores. In crystalline form, tellurium has a silvery- white color and in its pure state the metalloid transforms to having a metallic shimmer. Similar to selenium and sulfur, the conductivity of tellurium increases slightly with exposure to light. Tellurium is combined to lead to increase its resistance to sulfuric acid and added to stainless steel and copper to make easier to machine and mill. While forming many compounds, tellurium produces none that
are commercially important.

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