Aluminum sulfide (Al2S3): structure, properties, uses

For this to happen and the aluminum can give up its electrons, it is necessary that it present three hybrid sp 3 orbitals , which give the possibility of forming bonds with the electrons coming from the sulfur.

The sensitivity of aluminum sulfide to water implies that, in the presence of water vapor found in the air, it can react to produce aluminum hydroxide (Al (OH) 3 ), hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) and hydrogen (H 2 ) gaseous; if the latter accumulates it can cause an explosion. Therefore, the packaging of aluminum sulfide must be done using airtight containers.

On the other hand, since aluminum sulfide has reactivity with water, this makes it an element that does not have solubility in said solvent.

Chemical structure of aluminum sulfide. The yellow atoms represent sulfur. Source: Materialscientist, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Molecular formula

Al 2 S 3

Structural formula

Aluminum sulfide

– Aluminum sulfide.

– Di aluminum trisulfide.

– Aluminum (III) sulfide.

– Aluminum sulfide.

Properties of aluminum sulfide

Aluminum sulfide
Aluminum Sulfide Appearance

Chemical compounds mostly exhibit two classes of properties: physical and chemical.

Physical properties

Molar mass

150.158 g / mol


2.02 g / mL

Melting point

1100 ° C

Water solubility


Chemical properties

One of the main reactions of aluminum sulfide is with water, as the main substrate or reagent:

In this reaction, the formation of aluminum hydroxide and hydrogen sulfide can be observed if it is in the form of a gas, or hydrogen sulfide if it is dissolved in water in the form of a solution. Their presence is identified by the smell of rotten eggs.

Uses and applications

In supercapacitors

Aluminum sulfide is used in the manufacture of nano-network structures that improve the specific surface area and electrical conductivity, in such a way that a high capacitance and energy density can be achieved whose applicability is that of supercapacitors.

Graphene oxide (GO) —graphene is one of the allotropic forms of carbon — has served as a support for aluminum sulfide (Al 2 S 3 ) with a hierarchical morphology similar to that of nanorambutan manufactured using the hydrothermal method.

Graphene oxide action

The characteristics of graphene oxide as a support, as well as the high electrical conductivity and surface area, make nanorambutane Al 2 S 3  electrochemically active.

The CV specific capacitance curves with well-defined redox peaks confirm the pseudocapacitive behavior of hierarchical nanorambutane Al 2 S 3 , sustained in graphene oxide in 1M NaOH electrolyte. The specific capacitance CV values ​​obtained from the curves are: 168.97 at the scanning speed of 5mV / s.

The electrochemical impedance thus confirms the pseudocapacitive nature of the hierarchical Al 2 S 3 nanorambutane electrode . The electrode stability test shows a retention of 57.84% of the specific capacitance for up to 1000 cycles.

The experimental results suggest that the hierarchical Al 2 S 3 nanorambutane is suitable for supercapacitor applications.

In secondary lithium batteries

With the intention of developing a secondary lithium battery with high energy density, aluminum sulfide (Al 2 S 3 ) was studied as an active material.

The measured initial discharge capacity of Al 2 S 3 was approximately 1170 mAh g-1 to 100 mA g-1. This corresponds to 62% of the theoretical capacity for sulfide.

Al 2 S 3 exhibited poor capacity retention in the potential range between 0.01 V and 2.0 V, mainly due to the structural irreversibility of the charging process or Li extraction.

The XRD and K-XANES analyzes for aluminum and sulfur indicated that the Al 2 S 3 surface reacts reversibly during the loading and unloading processes, while the Al 2 S 3 core showed structural irreversibility, because LiAl and Li 2 S formed from Al 2 S 3 in the initial discharge and then remained as is.


– In contact with water, it releases flammable gases that can burn spontaneously.

– Causes skin irritation.

– Causes serious eye irritation.

– May cause respiratory irritation.

Information may vary between notifications depending on impurities, additives, and other factors.

First aid procedure

General treatment

Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

Special treatment


Important symptoms



Take the victim outside. Give oxygen if breathing is difficult.


Give one or two glasses of water and induce vomiting. Never induce vomiting or give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.


Wash the affected area with mild soap and water. Remove any contaminated clothing.


Flush your eyes with water, blinking often for several minutes. Remove contact lenses if you have them and continue rinsing.

Fire-fighting measures


Not flammable.

Extinguishing media

Reacts with water. Do not use water: use CO₂, sand and extinguishing powder.

Fighting procedure

Wear a full-face, self-contained breathing apparatus with full protection. Wear clothing to avoid contact with skin and eyes.

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