I do cross-stitch and want to spell the word "moose" (for a project focusing on the animal) with squares from the periodic table and present a compound formula and name that encapsulates all three elements, Mo+O+Se, in that order. I'm not looking for strictly realistic chemistry, just a formula and a name that would work IF the compound had actually existed. The number of atoms of each element is up to you. Can you help me with a formula and a name for Molybdenum + Oxygen + Selenium?

  • $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because this is not a Chemistry question and pertains to wordplay which doesn't fit in this site. $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2023 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


Well, molybdenum oxysulfide is apparently a real compound with the formula $\ce{MoOS2}$ or $\ce{MoO2S}$. Since selenium is a chalcogen and has (some) chemistry that is analogous to sulfur, I think molybdenum oxyselenide would be an appropriate choice.

More formally:

  1. Molybdenum(IV) oxide is a compound with the formula $\ce{MoO2}$.

  2. Molybdenum(IV) selenide, also called molybdenum diselenide, has a formula of $\ce{MoSe2}$

  3. Molybdenum sulfide selenide exists and has the approximate formula $\ce{MoSSe}$.

Thus, perhaps molybdenum(IV) oxide selenide would be another choice.

  • $\begingroup$ Wonderful, Curt, thank you! And would that simply make the formula MoOSe? (Please forgive my cluelessness!) $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2015 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ So, Curt F., with the edits to the original answer, can I assume that I can go with at least one of the following three combos? Molybdenum oxyselenide (MoOSe), or Molybdenum dioxyselenide (MoO2Se), or Molybdenum oxydiselenide (MoOSe2)? (And again, please forgive my cluelessness!) $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2015 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ Material Scientists and Engineers would likely use the latter molybdenum(IV) oxide selenide in publication so I would go with that. $\endgroup$
    – A.K.
    Dec 11, 2015 at 17:44
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    $\begingroup$ And what would the formula for that be? $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2015 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ The formula would be MoOSe. Isn't that what you were asking for? $\endgroup$
    – Curt F.
    Dec 12, 2015 at 0:08

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