Zinc sulfide is used in a variety of applications. It is a semiconductor material that can be doped with metals such as silver, copper, and manganese. It can also be doped with cadmium selenide to form the shells of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs).
Common uses include fluorescent pigments for paint and plastic, photocatalysts and phosphorescent materials. It is also used as a phosphor in cathode ray tubes and in X-ray screens.
It can be produced by oxidation of zinc oxide with sulfur. This reaction releases hydrogen sulfide gas, which is toxic.
Some uses are in the food and chemical industries, including as a solvent and in electroplating. It is also an important ingredient in the manufacturing of lithium ion batteries and other electrochemical devices.
ZnS is a crystalline solid, white-to-pale yellow powder or fine particles with a sulfurous odor. It decomposes at temperatures greater than 400 oC in air or oxidizing atmospheres.
The chemistry of zinc sulfide can vary considerably in a single crystal or mineral. Two crystalline forms are typically encountered: zinc blende or sphalerite, and wurtzite. The two polymorphs are distinct, and the transition from one to the other takes place at a temperature of about 1020 degrees Celsius.
Stoichiometric titration experiments show that the acid base properties of zinc sulfide in solution depends strongly on the surface stoichiometry. The higher the stoichiometric solid concentration of zinc sulfide, the larger its pH buffer capacity and range.