Barium sulfide

Not to be confused with Barium sulfate.
Barium sulfide
21109-95-5 YesY
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
ChEBI CHEBI:32590 YesY
ChemSpider 5256933 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.040.180
EC Number 244-214-4
PubChem 6857597
Molar mass 169.39 g/mol
Density 4.25 g/cm3 [1]
Melting point 1,200 °C (2,190 °F; 1,470 K)
Boiling point decomposes
2.88 g/100 mL (0 °C)
7.68 g/100 mL (20 °C)
60.3 g/100 mL (100 °C)
Solubility insoluble in alcohol
Halite (cubic), cF8
Fm3m, No. 225
Octahedral (Ba2+); octahedral (S2−)
Harmful (Xn)
Dangerous for the environment (N)
R-phrases R20/22, R31, R50
S-phrases (S2), S28, S61
NFPA 704
Flammability code 3: Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions. Flash point between 23 and 38 °C (73 and 100 °F). E.g., gasoline) Health code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g., chloroform Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Related compounds
Other anions
Barium oxide
Other cations
Magnesium sulfide
Calcium sulfide
Strontium sulfide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Barium sulfide is the inorganic compound with the formula BaS. BaS is an important precursor to other barium compounds including BaCO3 and the pigment lithopone, ZnS/BaSO4.[2] Like other chalcogenides of the alkaline earth metals, BaS is a short wavelength emitters for electronic displays.[3] It is colorless, although like many sulfides, it is commonly obtained in impure colored forms.

Discovery, production, properties

BaS was prepared by Vincentius (or Vincentinus) Casciarolus (or Casciorolus, 1571-1624) via reduction of BaSO4 (available as the mineral barite).[4] It is currently manufactured by an improved version of Casciarolus's process using coke in place of flour. This kind of conversion is called a carbothermic reaction:

BaSO4 + 2 C → BaS + 2 CO2

The phosphorescence of the material made by Casciarolus made it a curiosity and various alchemists and chemists made experiments with the material which was known as Lapis Boloniensis, Chrysolapis or bologna stone.[5][6][7]

Andreas Sigismund Marggraf showed that calcite and gypsum were not very suitable for the production of the bologna stone, but a special heavy fluorspar, in the end he concluded that calcium sulfate is the material from which the bologna stone is made.[8] Recent investigations have shown that naturally occurring impurities of copper in the barium sulfide produced from barium sulfate deposits near Bologna are the likely cause of the phosphorescence.[9]

BaS crystallizes with the NaCl structure, featuring octahedral Ba2+ and S2− centres.


BaS is quite poisonous, as are related sulfides, such as CaS, which evolve toxic hydrogen sulfide upon contact with water.


  1. Lide, David R., ed. (2006). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (87th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-0487-3.
  2. Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. "Inorganic Chemistry" Academic Press: San Diego, 2001. ISBN 0-12-352651-5.
  3. Vij, D. R.; Singh, N. "Optical and electrical properties of II-VI wide gap semiconducting barium sulfide" Proceedings of SPIE (1992), 1523 (Conf. Phys. Technol. Semicond. Devices Integr. Circuits, 1992), 608-12.
  4. F. Licetus, Litheosphorus, sive de lapide Bononiensi lucem in se conceptam ab ambiente claro mox in tenebris mire conservante, Utini, ex typ. N. Schiratti, 1640. See
  5. "Lapis Boloniensis".
  6. Lemery, Nicolas (1714). Trait℗e universel des drogues simples.
  7. Ozanam, Jacques; Montucla, Jean Etienne; Hutton, Charles (1814). Recreations in mathematics and natural philosophy ..
  8. Marggraf, Andreas Sigismund (1767). Chymische Schriften.
  9. Lastusaari, Mika; Laamanen, Taneli; Malkamäki, Marja; Eskola, Kari O.; Kotlov, Aleksei; Carlson, Stefan; Welter, Edmund; Brito, Hermi F.; Bettinelli, Marco; Jungner, Högne; Hölsä, Jorma (2012). "The Bologna Stone: history's first persistent luminescent material". European Journal of Mineralogy. 24 (5): 885–890. doi:10.1127/0935-1221/2012/0024-2224. ISSN 0935-1221.
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