Tellurium tetrachloride

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Tellurium tetrachloride
IUPAC names
Tellurium(IV) chloride
Tetratellurium hexadecachloride
Other names
Tellurium chloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.030.038 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
PubChem CID
  • InChI=1S/Cl4Te/c1-5(2,3)4 Yes check.svgY
  • InChI=1/Cl4Te/c1-5(2,3)4
  • Cl[Te](Cl)(Cl)Cl
Molar mass 1077.64 g/mol
Appearance hygroscopic pale yellow solid
(if fused, maroon liquid)
Density 3.26 g/cm3, solid
Melting point 224 °C (435 °F; 497 K)
Boiling point 380 °C (716 °F; 653 K)
Monoclinic, mS80
C12/c1, No. 15
Distorted octahedral (Te)
Seesaw (gas phase)
2.59 D (gas phase)
Occupational safety and health (OHS/OSH):
Main hazards
Toxic, corrosive,
respiratory irritant
Related compounds
Other anions
Tellurium tetrafluoride
Tellurium tetrabromide
Tellurium tetraiodide
Other cations
Selenium tetrachloride
Polonium tetrachloride
Related compounds
Tellurium dichloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Tellurium tetrachloride is the inorganic compound with the empirical formula TeCl4. The compound is volatile, subliming at 200 °C at 0.1 mmHg. [1] Molten TeCl4 is ionic, dissociating into TeCl3+ and Te2Cl102. [1]



TeCl4 is monomeric in the gas phase, with a structure similar to that of SF4. [2] In the solid state, it is a tetrameric cubane-type cluster, consisting of a Te4Cl4 core and three terminal chloride ligands for each Te. Alternatively, this tetrameric structure can be considered as a Te4 tetrahedron with face-capping chlorines and three terminal chlorines per tellurium atom, giving each tellurium atom a distorted octahedral environment


TeCl4 is prepared by chlorination of tellurium powder:

Te + 2 Cl2 → TeCl4

The reaction is initiated with heat. The product is isolated by distillation. [3]


TeCl4 is of occasional interest in organic synthesis. [4] It adds to alkenes to give Cl-C-C-TeCl3 derivatives, wherein the Te can be subsequently removed with sodium sulfide. Electron-rich arenes react to give aryl Te compounds. Thus, anisole gives TeCl2(C6H4OMe)2, which can be reduced to the diaryl telluride.

Safety considerations

As is the case for other tellurium compounds, TeCl4 is toxic. It also releases HCl upon hydrolysis.

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Cerium(III) chloride Chemical compound

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Copper(I) chloride Chemical compound

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Copper(II) chloride Chemical compound

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Thionyl chloride Chemical compound

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. It is a moderately volatile colourless liquid with an unpleasant acrid odour. Thionyl chloride is primarily used as a chlorinating reagent, with approximately 45,000 tonnes per year being produced during the early 1990s, but is occasionally also used as a solvent. It is toxic, reacts with water, and is also listed under the Chemical Weapons Convention as it may be used for the production of chemical weapons.

Phosphorus pentachloride Chemical compound

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Niobium(III) chloride also known as niobium trichloride is a compound of niobium and chlorine. The binary phase NbCl3 is not well characterized but many adducts are known.


  1. 1 2 Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN   978-0-08-037941-8.
  2. Cotton, F. Albert; Wilkinson, Geoffrey; Murillo, Carlos A.; Bochmann, Manfred (1999), Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (6th ed.), New York: Wiley-Interscience, ISBN   0-471-19957-5
  3. Suttle, J. F.; Smith, C. R. F. (1950). Audrieth, Ludwig F. (ed.). Tellurium(IV) chloride. Inorganic Syntheses. Vol. 3. pp. 140–2. doi:10.1002/9780470132340. ISBN   978-0-470-13162-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Petragnani, N.; Comasseto, J. V. (1991). "Tellurium Reagents in Organic Synthesis; Recent Advances. Part 1". Synthesis. 1991 (10): 793–817. doi:10.1055/s-1991-26577. and Petragnani, N.; Comasseto, J. V. (1991). "Tellurium Reagents in Organic Synthesis; Recent Advances. Part 2". Synthesis. 1991 (11): 897–919. doi:10.1055/s-1991-26605.