5N Plus sells selenium to manufacturers of zinc selenide (ZnSe). This compound is transparent under infrared light and is used to manufacture lenses for carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers. Selenium is also used in CIGS and CIS for the photovoltaic solar industry and for thermoelectric devices.
Selenium is a non-metallic chemical element discovered in 1817 by Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius while preparing sulphuric acid. Typically, it is extracted from copper residues along with tellurium and precious metals. In trace amounts, this element is essential to cell life.