Antimony pentasulfide is an inorganic compound of antimony and sulfur, also known as antimony red. It is a nonstoichiometric compound with a variable composition. Its structure is unknown.[2] Commercial samples are usually contaminated with sulfur, which may be removed by washing with carbon disulfide in a Soxhlet extractor.


Antimony pentasulfide can be produced by the reaction of antimony with sulfur at a temperature from 250-400 °C in an inert atmosphere.


It may be used as a red pigment and is one possible precursor to Schlippe's salt, Na3SbS4, which can be prepared according to the equation:

3 Na2S   +   Sb2S5   +   9 H2O   →   2 Na3SbS4·9H2O

It is also used in the vulcanization of rubber to produce red rubber.

Physical chemistry

Like many sulfides, this compound liberates hydrogen sulfide upon treatment with strong acids such as hydrochloric acid.[3]

6 HCl   +   Sb2S5   →   2 SbCl3   +   3 H2S   +   2 S

Analysis by Mössbauer spectroscopy indicates that this compound is a derivative antimony(III),[4] explaining the production of antimony(III) chloride, rather than antimony(V) chloride, upon acidification. It is, therefore, not analogous to the phosphorus(V) compound phosphorus pentasulfide.


  1. ^ a b NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0036". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  2. ^ Arnold F. Holleman, Nils Wiberg: Lehrbuch der Anorganischen Chemie, 102nd edition, de Gruyter, Berlin 2007, p. 849, ISBN 978-3-11-017770-1.
  3. ^ Strem MSDS
  4. ^ G. G. Long; J. G. Stevens; L. H. Bowen; S. L. Ruby (1969). "The oxidation number of antimony in antimony pentasulfide". Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry Letters. 5 (1): 21–25. doi:10.1016/0020-1650(69)80231-X.