Lithium tritelluride
3D model (JSmol)
  • [Li].[Te].[Te].[Te]
Molar mass 389.74 g·mol−1
Related compounds
Related compounds
lithium telluride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Lithium tritelluride is an intercalary compound of lithium and tellurium with empirical formula LiTe
. It is one of three known members of the Li-Te system, the others being the raw metals and lithium telluride (Li

LiTe3 was first discovered in 1969 by researchers at the US Atomic Energy Commission.[1] Research into the compound has been primarily driven by the possibility of using molten tellurium salts to cool a nuclear reactor.[2][3]

Lithium tritelluride can be synthesized by heating a mixture of the appropriate stoichiometry. It is unstable below 304 °C; if left below that temperature, it will decompose, releasing tellurium vapor.[2][3]

Structurally, lithium tritelluride is composed of parallel graphene-like planes of tellurium. Atoms in these planes are aligned to form "vertical" columns of tellurium; the lithium ions then form columns running through the center of each tellurium hexagon.[4]


  1. ^ Foster, M. S.; Johnson, C. E.; Davis, K. A.; Peck, J.; Schablaske, R. (1969). (Technical report). USAEC. p. 141. ANL-7575. ((cite tech report)): Missing or empty |title= (help), as cited in Valentine, Cavin & Yakel 1977.
  2. ^ a b Hitch, B. F.; Toth, L. M.; Brynestad, J. (1978). "The Decomposition Equilibrium of LiTe3". J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem. Great Britain: Pergamon Press. 40: 31–34. doi:10.1016/0022-1902(78)80301-7 – via Elsevier ScienceDirect. See also Cunningham, P. T.; Johnson, S. A.; Cairns, E. J. (March 1973). "Phase Equilibria in Chalcogen Systems III: Lithium-Tellurium". J. Electrochem. Soc. The Electrochemical Society. 120: 328. doi:10.1149/1.2403448.
  3. ^ a b Sangster, J.; Pelton, A. D. (1992). "The Li-Te (Lithium-Tellurium) System". Section II: Phase Diagram Evaluations. Journal of Phase Equilibria. Springer. 13 (3): 300–303. doi:10.1007/BF02667559. S2CID 97799347.
  4. ^ Valentine, Diane Y.; Cavin, O. Burl; Yakel, Harry L. (1977). "On the Crystal Structure of LiTe3". Acta Crystallogr. Wiley. B33 (5): 1389–1396. doi:10.1107/S0567740877006141. S2CID 98036149.