Organometallic precursors with low decomposition temperatures are essential in the fabrication of high performance mercury cadmium telluride (Hg1-xCdxTe) infrared detectors by pyrolytic and photolytic metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). Film growth temperature is governed by the relative stability and/or reactivity of the organotellurium precursor, which is determined by the strength of the Te-C bonds. Since the rate-determining step in the pyrolysis of organometallic compounds involves bond breaking and free radical formation, we have concentrated on the synthesis of a variety of organotellurium precursors with substituents that possess low activation energies for the formation of hydrocarbon free radicals. The synthesis, characterization, and properties of methylallyltelluride, ethylallyltelluride, isopropylallyltelluride, tertiarybutylallyl-telluride, methylbenzyltelluride, and methylpentadienyltelluride are reported. These unsymmetrical tellurides were characterized by 1H, 13 C, and 125Te NMR spectroscopy. The potential applicability of these organotellurium precursors to lower film-growth temperatures in MOCVD is discussed.