Cadmium oxide
IUPAC name
Cadmium oxide
Other names
Cadmium(II) oxide,
Cadmium monoxide
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.013.770 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 215-146-2
RTECS number
  • EV1925000
UN number 2570
  • InChI=1S/Cd.O checkY
  • InChI=1/Cd.O/rCdO/c1-2
  • [Cd]=O
Molar mass 128.413 g·mol−1
Appearance colorless powder (alpha form)
red-brown crystal (beta form) [1]
Odor odorless
Density 8.15 g/cm3(crystalline),
6.95 g/cm3 (amorphous)[2] solid.
Melting point 900–1,000 °C (1,650–1,830 °F; 1,170–1,270 K)
decomposition of amorphous form[3]
Boiling point 1,559 °C (2,838 °F; 1,832 K) sublimation[3]
4.8 mg/L (18 °C)[4]
Solubility soluble in dilute acid
slowly soluble in ammonium salts
insoluble in alkalies
Vapor pressure 0.13 kPa (1000 °C)
2.62 kPa (1200 °C)
61.4 kPa (1500 °C)[5]
Band gap 2.18 eV
Electron mobility 531 cm2/V·s
-3.0·10−5 cm3/mol
Thermal conductivity 0.7 W/m·K
cubic, cF8
Fm3m, No. 225
a = 4.6958 Å
43.64 J/mol·K[4]
55 J/mol·K[6]
−258 kJ/mol[5][6]
-229.3 kJ/mol[4]
GHS labelling:
GHS06: ToxicGHS08: Health hazardGHS09: Environmental hazard[7]
H330, H341, H350, H361, H372, H410[7]
P201, P260, P273, P281, P284, P310[7]
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
NFPA 704 four-colored diamondHealth 4: Very short exposure could cause death or major residual injury. E.g. VX gasFlammability 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterInstability 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no code
Flash point Non-flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
72 mg/kg (oral, rat)[9]
72 mg/kg (oral, mouse)[10]
500 mg/m3 (rat, 10 min)
2500 mg/m3 (rabbit, 10 min)
3500 mg/m3 (guinea pig, 10 min)
4000 mg/m3 (dog, 10 min)
780 mg/m3 (rat, 10 min)
340 mg/m3 (mouse, 10 min)
3000 mg/m3 (rabbit, 15 min)
3000 mg/m3 (guinea pig, 15 min)
400 mg/m3 (dog, 10 min)[10]
NIOSH (US health exposure limits):
PEL (Permissible)
[1910.1027] TWA 0.005 mg/m3 (as Cd)[8]
REL (Recommended)
IDLH (Immediate danger)
Ca [9 mg/m3 (as Cd)][8]
Safety data sheet (SDS) [1][dead link]
Related compounds
Other anions
Cadmium sulfide
Cadmium selenide
Cadmium telluride
Other cations
Zinc oxide
Mercury oxide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Cadmium oxide is an inorganic compound with the formula CdO. It is one of the main precursors to other cadmium compounds. It crystallizes in a cubic rocksalt lattice like sodium chloride, with octahedral cation and anion centers.[11] It occurs naturally as the rare mineral monteponite. Cadmium oxide can be found as a colorless amorphous powder or as brown or red crystals.[12] Cadmium oxide is an n-type semiconductor[13] with a band gap of 2.18 eV (2.31 eV) at room temperature (298 K).[14]

Production and structure

Since cadmium compounds are often found in association with zinc ores, cadmium oxide is a common by-product of zinc refining.[15] It is produced by burning elemental cadmium in air. Pyrolysis of other cadmium compounds, such as the nitrate or the carbonate, also affords this oxide. When pure, it is red, but CdO is unusual in being available in many differing colours due to its tendency to form defect structures resulting from anion vacancies.[16] Cadmium oxide is prepared commercially by oxidizing cadmium vapor in air.[17]


Cadmium oxide is used in cadmium plating baths, electrodes for storage batteries, cadmium salts, catalysts, ceramic glazes, phosphors, and nematocide.[12] Major uses for cadmium oxide are as an ingredient for electroplating baths, optoelectronic devices, and in pigments.[18]

Transparent conductor

CdO is used as a transparent conductive material,[19] which was prepared as a transparent conducting film as early as 1907 by Karl Baedeker.[20] Cadmium oxide in the form of thin films has been used in applications such as photodiodes, phototransistors, photovoltaic cells, transparent electrodes, liquid crystal displays, IR detectors, and anti reflection coatings.[21] CdO microparticles undergo bandgap excitation when exposed to UV-A light and is also selective in phenol photodegradation.[22]

Cadmium plating

Most commercial electroplating of cadmium is done by electrodeposition from cyanide baths. These cyanide baths consist of cadmium oxide and sodium cyanide in water, which likely form cadmium cyanide and sodium hydroxide. A typical formula is 32 g/L cadmium oxide and 75 g/L sodium cyanide. The cadmium concentration may vary by as much as 50%. Brighteners are usually added to the bath and the plating is done at room temperature with high-purity cadmium anodes.[23]


CdO is a basic oxide and is thus attacked by aqueous acids to give solutions of [Cd(H2O)6]2+. Upon treatment with strong alkaline solutions, [Cd(OH)
forms. A thin coat of cadmium oxide forms on the surface of cadmium in moist air at room temperature.[12] Cadmium will oxidize at room temperatures to form CdO.[23] Cadmium vapor and steam will form CdO and hydrogen in a reversible reaction.[23]


  1. ^ Patnaik, Pradyot (2003). Handbook of Inorganic Chemical Compounds. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-049439-8.
  2. ^ "NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards". Retrieved 2007-02-16.
  3. ^ a b "INCHEM: Chemical Safety Information from Intergovernmental Organizations". Retrieved 2007-02-16.
  4. ^ a b c "Cadmium oxide".
  5. ^ a b Cadmium oxide in Linstrom, Peter J.; Mallard, William G. (eds.); NIST Chemistry WebBook, NIST Standard Reference Database Number 69, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg (MD) (retrieved 2014-05-23)
  6. ^ a b Zumdahl, Steven S. (2009). Chemical Principles 6th Ed. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. A21. ISBN 978-0-618-94690-7.
  7. ^ a b c Sigma-Aldrich Co., Cadmium oxide. Retrieved on 2014-05-23.
  8. ^ a b c NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0087". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  9. ^[dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Cadmium compounds (as Cd)". Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  11. ^ Wells, A.F. (1984) Structural Inorganic Chemistry, Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-855370-6.
  12. ^ a b c Lewis, Richard J. Sr., Hawley's condensed chemical dictionary, 13th ed., 1997, p. 189
  13. ^ T. L. Chu; Shirley S. Chu (1990). "Degenerate cadmium oxide films for electronic devices". Journal of Electronic Materials. 19 (9): 1003–1005. Bibcode:1990JEMat..19.1003C. doi:10.1007/BF02652928. S2CID 95361658.
  14. ^ S. K. Vasheghani Farahani; et al. (2013). "Temperature dependence of the direct bandgap and transport properties of CdO". Applied Physics Letters. 102 (2): 022102. Bibcode:2013ApPhL.102b2102V. doi:10.1063/1.4775691.
  15. ^ "Cadmium and compounds fact sheet". Archived from the original on 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2007-02-16. Archived 2006-12-10 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. Inorganic Chemistry. Academic Press: San Diego, 2001. ISBN 0-12-352651-5.
  17. ^ Hampel, C. A.; Hawley, G. G. (1973). The encyclopedia of Chemistry (3rd ed.). New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold. p. 169. ISBN 9780442230951.
  18. ^ Clifford A. Hampel and Gessner G. Hawley, The encyclopedia of Chemistry, 3rd Ed., 1973, p. 169
  19. ^ Varkey, A (1994). "Transparent conducting cadmium oxide thin films prepared by a solution growth technique". Thin Solid Films. 239 (2): 211–213. Bibcode:1994TSF...239..211V. doi:10.1016/0040-6090(94)90853-2.
  20. ^ Dou, Y (1998). "N-type doping in CdO ceramics: a study by EELS and photoemission spectroscopy". Surface Science. 398 (1–2): 241–258. Bibcode:1998SurSc.398..241D. doi:10.1016/S0039-6028(98)80028-9.
  21. ^ Lokhande, B (2004). "Studies on cadmium oxide sprayed thin films deposited through non-aqueous medium". Materials Chemistry and Physics. 84 (2–3): 238–242. doi:10.1016/S0254-0584(03)00231-1.
  22. ^ Karunakaran, C; Dhanalakshmi, R (2009). "Selectivity in photocatalysis by particulate semiconductors". Central European Journal of Chemistry. 7 (1): 134. doi:10.2478/s11532-008-0083-7.
  23. ^ a b c Clifford A. Hampel, Rare Metals Handbook, 1954, p. 87-103