University of Oulu

Tristram Chivers, Risto S. Laitinen (2019). 2. Selenium– and tellurium–halogen reagents. In Risto Laitinen, Raija Oilunkaniemi (Eds.), Selenium and Tellurium Reagents: In Chemistry and Materials Science (pp. 27–60). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter.

Selenium– and tellurium–halogen reagents

Saved in:
Author: Chivers, Tristram1; Laitinen, Risto S.2
Organizations: 1Department of Chemistry, University of Calgrary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
2Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: De Gruyter, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-04-30


Selenium and tellurium form binary halides in which the chalcogen can be in formal oxidation states (IV), (II) or (I). They are versatile reagents for the preparation of a wide range of inorganic and organic selenium and tellurium compounds taking advantage of the reactivity of the chalcogen-halogen bond. With the exception of the tetrafluorides, the tetrahalides are either commercially available or readily prepared. On the other hand, the low-valent species, EX₂ (E = Se, Te; X = Cl, Br) and E₂X₂ (E = Se, Te; X = Cl, Br) are unstable with respect to disproportionation and must be used as in situ reagents. Organoselenium and tellurium halides are well-known in oxidation states (IV) and (II), as exemplified by REX₃, R₂EX₂ and REX (R = alkyl, aryl; E = Se, Te; X = F, Cl, Br, I); mixed-valent (IV/II) compounds of the type RTeX2TeR are also known. This chapter surveys the availability and/or preparative methods for these widely used reagents followed by examples of their applications in synthetic inorganic and organic selenium and tellurium chemistry. For both the binary halides and their organic derivatives, the discussion is subdivided according to the formal oxidation state of the chalcogen.

see all

This article has previously been published in the journal Physical Sciences Reviews, Volume 3, Issue 12, 20180060, ISSN (Online) 2365‐659X, DOI:‐0060.

see all

ISBN: 978-3-11-052794-0
Pages: 27 - 60
DOI: 10.1515/9783110529340-002
Host publication: Selenium and tellurium reagents : in chemistry and materials science
Host publication editor: Laitinen, Risto
Oilunkaniemi, Raija
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
Copyright information: © 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston. The final authenticated version is available online at