Zinc sulfide

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An off-white powder that occurs in nature as the minerals wurtzite and sphalerite. Zinc sulfide slowly oxidizes in moist air to form Zinc sulfate. The synthetic form was introduced as a pigment in 1852 but not widely used by itself due to gray tonalities from impurities. Zinc sulfide is mixed with Barium sulfate to form Lithopone.

Synonyms and Related Terms

zinc sulphide (Br.); zinc blende; CI 77975; Pigment White 7


  • Sensitive to moisture and air.
  • Contact causes irritation.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in mineral acids. Insoluble in water.
  • Transparent, colorless crystals with high relief.
  • In crossed polars the crystals are isotropic with very weak birefringence.
  • Fluoresces weak yellow
Composition ZnS
CAS 1314-98-3
Density 3.98 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 97.45
Refractive Index 2.37

Resources and Citations

  • Nicholas Eastaugh, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin, Ruth Siddall, Pigment Compendium, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2004
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 10294

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