Organometallic sol/gel chemistry of metal sulfides

T. A. Guiton, C. L. Czekaj, C. G. Pantano

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This paper reviews organometallic chemistry relevant to the sol/gel processing of metal sulfides. It focuses on the synthesis of ZnS wherein different classes of precursors were evaluated for their solution/gelation behavior. These involved the reaction of Zn-thiolate/mercaptide compound precursors with hydrogen sulfide or organo-polysulfides. Only two reactions were identified where polymeric residues or gels were created. One of these used a pentamer species - [EtZn(SBut)]5 - which yielded an amorphous, fibrous ZnS residue after reaction with controlled quantities of H2S. A subsequent heat-treatment of this residue under flowing H2S created a mixture of β-ZnS powder and α-ZnS single crystal whiskers. The other reaction exhibiting sol/gel behavior used a polysulfide - (BzS)2S - to deliver sulfur to the Et2Zn precursor. In this case, a clear high viscosity solution was created. This solution gelled and dried to form an amorphous solid which exhibited a glass transition. At higher temperature, a fine-grained ZnS was generated. It remains to be determined whether this chemistry can be used for sol/gel processing of ceramics; i.e., net-shaping of the residue, and then consolidation/transformation in H2S to create a ZnS ceramic, or in the case of the pentamer reaction, a ZnS whisker-reinforced ZnS composite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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