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ZnS (Zinc Sulfide) Chemical Formula
Zinc sulfide is a compound that contains the molecular or chemical formula of zinc and sulfur. It is a common mineral in nature and can be produced by burning a combination of sulfur and zinc.
It occurs naturally as the mineral zinc blende, commonly called sphalerite and it has a crystalline structure. When it reacts with sodium sulfide or hydrogen sulfide gas, in any Zn2+ solution, the insoluble zinc sulfide precipitates.
The sphalerite crystalline form can be changed to the wurtzite crystalline form in the presence of heat. This is a good example of polymorphism and demonstrates the difference between two primary crystalline forms, which preserve a tetrahedral coordination geometry at the Zn and S atoms.
Activator to exhibit phosphorescence
With the addition of a few ppm of an appropriate activator, zinc sulfide can emit a strong phosphorescence when illuminated by UV or X-ray light. It is currently used in a wide range of applications, from cathode ray tubes to X-ray screens and glow-in-the-dark products.
This phosphorescence is produced by the interaction between the sulfide ions and the activator, which causes them to excite the surrounding oxygen atoms. The resulting color is a bright blue, with a maximum wavelength of 450 nanometers. Copper-doped zinc sulfide is also used in electroluminescent panels.
This chemical can be disposed of without a special disposal process, although it should be treated with hydrogen peroxide before dumping it in water or soil. It is not toxic to humans but can irritate the skin and eyes. It can also be hazardous to the environment as it may enter the groundwater and contaminate it.