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Selenium disulfide
IUPAC name
Other names Selenium(IV) sulfide
CAS number 7488-56-4 Yes check.svgY
PubChem 24087
MeSH Selenium+sulfide
RTECS number VS8925000
ATC code D01AE13
Molecular formula SeS2
Molar mass 143.09 g/mol
Appearance orange
Melting point

-249.5 °C, 24 K, -417 °F

Boiling point

-112 °C, 161 K, -170 °F

Solubility in water insoluble
EU Index 034-002-00-8
EU classification Toxic (T)
Dangerous for the environment (N)
R-phrases R23/25, R33, R50/53
S-phrases (S1/2), S20/21, S28, S45, S60, S61
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Related compounds
Other anions Selenium dioxide
Other cations Tellurium disulfide
Related compounds Selenium monosulfide
 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Selenium (IV) sulfide, also known as selenium sulfide, is an inorganic compound with the approximate formula SeS2. Both sulfur and selenium catenate (form chains and rings) readily, and mixtures of selenium and sulfur likewise give rise to numerous "alloys".[1] This compound is not an analogue of sulfur dioxide.


Medicinal selenium disulfide

The material commercially called selenium disulfide is sold as an antifungal agent in shampoos for the treatment of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis associated in the scalp with Malassezia genus fungi.[2][3][4] In the United States, a 1% strength is available over-the-counter, and a 2.5% strength is also available with a prescription. At the 2.5% strength, selenium disulfide is also used on the body to treat tinea versicolor, a type of fungal skin infection caused by a different species of Malassezia.

Chemical composition

Structure of 1,2,3-Se3S5

Selenium disulfide has a composition that approximates to SeS2 and is sometimes called selenium sulfide. However as used in proprietary formulations it is not a pure chemical compound but is a mixture where the overall Se:S ratio is 1:2. The compounds are cyclic Se–S rings containing a variable number of S and Se atoms, SenS8−n.[1] Selenium disulfide can cause discoloration of the hair and alter the color of hair dyes. It may also discolor metallic jewellery.

Other selenium sulfides

Many selenium sulfides are known. A useful means for characterization is 77Se NMR spectroscopy. Chalcogen ring interconversion pathways.[5] Selenium monosulfide (SeS) is the only selenium compound so far identified as a carcinogen in animals.[6] Selenium monosulfide, along with elemental selenium and sulfur has been used in medicinal preparations in the past[7], causing confusion and contradiction[8] as to exactly what form selenium is in, in any given topical preparation.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Cyclic selenium sulfides R. Steudel, R. Laitinen, Topics in Current Chemistry, (1982), 102, 177-197
  2. ^ Selenium(IV) sulfide - pharmacy codes search engine
  3. ^ Chemicals of Selenium .Se
  4. ^ Accessed Dec. 24, 2007
  5. ^ P. Pekonen, Y. Hiltunen, R. S. Laitinen, T. A. Pakkanen "Selenium-77 NMR spectroscopic study of the decomposition of 1,2,3,4,5-Se5S2 to 1,2,3,4,5,6-Se6S2 and 1,2,3,4-Se4S2" Inorg. Chem., 1991, 30, pp 3679–3682.doi:10.1021/ic00019a022
  6. ^
  7. ^ Definition: selenium sulfide from Online Medical Dictionary
  8. ^ DrugBank: DB00971 (Selenium Sulfide)
  9. ^ selenium sulfide: Definition and Much More from

Simple English

Selenium disulfide, also known as selenious disulfide, selenous disulfide, or selenium(IV) disulfide is a chemical compound. Its formula should be SeS2. It contains selenium in its +4 oxidation state. It also contains sulfide ions.



Selenium sulfide is a poorly known chemical compound. Sometimes it has more selenium, sometimes it has more sulfur. It is an orange solid.


Selenium sulfide can be made by heating selenium and sulfur.


It is used to kill fungi that make dandruff in hair. It can also be used to treat fungal (from fungi) skin infections.

See also


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