Tellurium is extremely rare, one of the nine rarest metallic elements on earth.
It is in the same chemical family as oxygen, sulfur, selenium, and polonium (the chalcogens).
Semiconductor and electronic industry uses:
* Tellurium is used in the media layer of several types of rewritable optical discs, including ReWritable Compact Discs (CD-RW), ReWritable Digital Video Discs (DVD-RW) and ReWritable Blu-ray Discs (See here).
* Tellurium is used in the new phase change memory chips developed by Intel. See phase change memory. Also see here.
* Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) is used in thermoelectric devices.
* Tellurium is used in cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar panels. NREL lab tests using this material achieved some of the highest efficiencies for solar cell electric power generation.First Solar Inc. started massive commercial production of CdTe solar panels in recent years, significantly increased tellurium demand.
If some of the cadmium in CdTe is replaced by zinc then CdZnTe is formed which is used in solid-state x-ray detectors.
* Alloyed with both cadmium and mercury, to form mercury cadmium telluride, an infrared sensitive semiconductor material is formed. Organotellurium compounds such as dimethyl telluride, diethyl telluride, diisopropyl telluride, diallyl telluride and methyl allyl telluride are used as precursors for MOVPE growth of II-VI compound semiconductors. Diisopropyl telluride (DIPTe) is employed as the preferred precursor for achieving the low temperature growth of CdHgTe by MOVPE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tellurium