Tellurium: properties of free atoms

Tellurium atoms have 52 electrons and the shell structure is

The ground state electron configuration of ground state gaseous neutral tellurium is  [Kr].4d10.5s2.5p4 and the term symbol is  3P2.

Atomic spectrum


A representation of the atomic spectrum of tellurium.

Electronic configuration of neutral atomic tellurium

Electronic configuration of tellurium

The electronic configuration of tellurium.

Kossel shell structure of tellurium

The Kossel shell structure of tellurium.

Ionisation Energies and electron affinity

The electron affinity of tellurium is 190.2 kJ mol‑1. The ionisation energies of tellurium are given below.

Ionisation energies of tellurium
Ionisation energy number Enthalpy / kJ mol‑1

Effective Nuclear Charges

The following are "Clementi-Raimondi" effective nuclear charges, Zeff. Follow the hyperlinks for more details and for graphs in various formats.

Effective nuclear charges for tellurium
2s38.33 2p47.86  
3s34.00 3p34.01 3d37.84  
4s24.41 4p23.12 4d19.96 4f(no data)
5s12.54 5p10.81 5d(no data)  
6s(no data) 6p(no data)  


These effective nuclear charges, Zeff, are adapted from the following references:

  1. E. Clementi and D.L.Raimondi, J. Chem. Phys. 1963, 38, 2686.
  2. E. Clementi, D.L.Raimondi, and W.P. Reinhardt, J. Chem. Phys. 1967, 47, 1300.

Electron binding energies

Electron binding energies for tellurium. All values of electron binding energies are given in eV. The binding energies are quoted relative to the vacuum level for rare gases and H2, N2, O2, F2, and Cl2 molecules; relative to the Fermi level for metals; and relative to the top of the valence band for semiconductors.
Label Orbital eV [literature reference]
K 1s31814 [1]
L I2s4939 [1]
L II2p1/24612 [1]
L III2p3/24341 [1]
M I3s1006 [3]
M II3p1/2870.8 [3]
M III3p3/2820.8 [3]
M IV3d3/2583.4 [3]
M V3d5/2573 [3]
N I4s169.4 [3]
N II4p1/2103.3 [3, one-particle approximation not valid owing to short core-hole lifetime]
N III4p3/2103.3 [3, one-particle approximation not valid owing to short core-hole lifetime]
N IV4d3/241.9 [3]
N V4d5/240.4 [3]


I am grateful to Gwyn Williams (Jefferson Laboratory, Virginia, USA) who provided the electron binding energy data. The data are adapted from references 1-3. They are tabulated elsewhere on the WWW (reference 4) and in paper form (reference 5).


  1. J. A. Bearden and A. F. Burr, "Reevaluation of X-Ray Atomic Energy Levels," Rev. Mod. Phys., 1967, 39, 125.
  2. M. Cardona and L. Ley, Eds., Photoemission in Solids I: General Principles (Springer-Verlag, Berlin) with additional corrections, 1978.
  3. Gwyn Williams WWW table of values
  4. D.R. Lide, (Ed.) in Chemical Rubber Company handbook of chemistry and physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 81st edition, 2000.
  5. J. C. Fuggle and N. Mårtensson, "Core-Level Binding Energies in Metals," J. Electron Spectrosc. Relat. Phenom., 1980, 21, 275.

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