According to wikipedia, a chalcogenide is a chemical compound consisting of at least one chalcogen anion and at least one more electropositive element. In the same sense does transition metal chalcogenides mean atleast one chalcogen and one transition metal. If I have three classes of materials


$\ce{BaVX_3}$ and

$\ce{Ba_2MnX_3}$ where $\ce{(X}$ = $\ce{S, Se)}$

Can I address them under a common term transition metal chalcogenides?
If not what might be a good term to address them together?


The common factor between these compounds is that they are all quasi-one dimensional. The $\ce{CrSbX3}$ structure consist of infinite chains of edge sharing $\ce{CrX_6}$. $\ce{BaVX_3}$ is made up of infinite chains of face sharing $\ce{VX_6}$ octahedara. $\ce{Ba_2MnX_3}$ consists of infinte chains of corner sharing $\ce{MnX_4}$ tetrahedra. Also this review has considered $\ce{BaVX_3}$ and $\ce{Ba_2MnX_3}$ among transition metal chalcogenides.

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    $\begingroup$ I worked on these materials. I am looking for a proper title for my thesis $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Sep 5, 2020 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ "Ternary metal chalcogenides". $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2020 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ Related $\ce{PbSnS3}$ is known: American Mineralogist 2000, 85, 1066-1075 ("Suredaite, $\ce{PbSnS3}$, a new mineral species, from the Pirquitas $\ce{Ag-Sn}$ deposit, NW-Argentina: Mineralogy and crystal structure"). $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2020 at 5:17
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    $\begingroup$ Find $\ce{SbCrS3}$ here. $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2020 at 5:21
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    $\begingroup$ Seems like the umbrella "transition metal chalcogenides" is used to describe these systems, though generally the properties differ enough when the number of metals/chalcogens change that they are typically grouped more specifically (e.g. transition metal dichalcogenides). $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius
    Sep 10, 2020 at 14:48

2 Answers 2


As said by Oscar Lanzi, they are called "ternary metal chalcogenides". However, the name depends on the type of metal present in the compound. From here:

Systems to be studied include the layered intercalates $\ce{AMX2}$ (A=alkali metal; $\ce{X=S, Se, Te}$) which are potential ionic conductors suitable for use in solid state batteries: Group 2 ternary chalcogenides of type $\ce{AMX3}$ and $\ce{AM2X5}$ ($\ce{A=Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba}$ ; $\ce{X=S, Se, Te}$) - some of which are superconducting and ternary mixed transition metal chalcogenides $\ce{MM'X2}$ ($\ce{X=S, Se, Te}$) examples of which have a wide range of magnetic properties including colossal magneto resistance.

You'll find more information on chalogenides of formula $\ce{ABS3}$ in this paper:

The structural diversity of ABS3 compounds with d0 electronic configuration for the B-cation, John A. Brehma, Joseph W. Bennett, Michael Rutenberg Schoenberg, Ilya Grinberg, and Andrew M. Rappe, J. Chem. Phys. 140, 224703 (2014); DOI: 10.1063/1.4879659 (PDF link)

Also, metal chalcogenides of different composition has also been noted:

  1. ($\ce{AB2X4}$): Wold A., Dwight K. (1993) Ternary Transition Metal Chalcogenides AB2X4. In: Solid State Chemistry. Springer, Dordrecht. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-011-1476-9_12

  2. Mixed transition-post transition metal chalogenides of form $\ce{ABS2}$ and $\ce{AB2S4}$

    • ($\ce{CuInS2,AgInS2}$): Ternary Metal Chalcogenides: Into the Exciton and Biexciton Dynamics, Tushar Debnath and Hirendra N. Ghosh,The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2019 10 (20), 6227-6238, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b01596

    • ($\ce{AgBiS2}$): Effect of different growth temperature on the formation of ternary metal chalcogenides AgBiS2, S.Sugarthia,G.Bakiyaraj, R.Abinayab, M.Navaneethana, J.Archanaa, M.Shimomurad, Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing Volume 107, 1 March 2020, 104781, DOI: 10.1016/j.mssp.2019.104781

    • ($\ce{ZnIn2S4}$): Ionothermal/hydrothermal synthesis of the ternary metal chalcogenide ZnIn2S4, Cuixia Li, Honghua Lia, Lijun Han, Chunshan Li, Suojiang Zhang, Materials Letters, Volume 65, Issues 15–16, August 2011, Pages 2537-2540, DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2011.05.052

Note: if the chalcogen is oxygen i.e $\ce{ABO3}$, then it is called Perovskite.


I would be hesitant to apply the term transition metal chalcogenide to $\ce{CrSbX3}$ – and for the others, it depends on what the actual structure on a molecular level is.

A term like transition metal chalcogenide (to me) invokes the idea of the transition metal and the chalcogen being in close contact. Basic examples would include iron sulphide (where there are only two types of atoms so the relation is trivial), but I would likewise include complexes that feature some kind of $\ce{[M_nS_m]^x-}$ anionic complex. Looking at $\ce{CrSbS3}$, my first assumption would be a thioantimonate anion and a chromium cation which would not fulfill the transition metal chalcogenide condition laid out above. Of course, I could be wrong and there fould be a completely different structure in which antimony is not closely bonded to sulphur – but then that would likely invalidate the idea of a transition metal chalcogenide even more.

The other two compounds you mention have a main group metal alongside a transition metal and the chalcogenide. Depending on the actual structure, transition metal chalcogenide may be a good term for these compounds – but as stated above it may also not be the case.

In my opinion, a clearly better choice is ternary metal chalcogenide, as this removes the requirement of proving that the transition metal and the chalcogenide are part of the same complex anion.

Pre-emptive note to potential commentators: I have not checked the individual structures of these compounds if known. I am basing my entire answer on a priori ideas.

  • $\begingroup$ The common factor between these compounds is that they are all quasi-one dimensional. The $\ce{CrSbX_3}$ structure consist of infinite chains of edge sharing $\ce{CrX_6}$. $\ce{BaVX_3}$ is made up of infinite chains of face sharing $\ce{VX_6}$ octahedara. $\ce{Ba_2MnX_3}$ consists of infinte chains of corner sharing $\ce{VX_4}$ tetrahedra. $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Sep 9, 2020 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ This review has considered $\ce{BaVX_3}$ and $\ce{Ba_2MnX_3}$ among transition metal chalcogenides, $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Sep 9, 2020 at 13:13

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