We have recently reported the growth of ZnTe and CdTe thin films from the novel volatile single-source precursors Zn(sitel)2 and Cd(sitel)2 [sitel = TeSi(TeSi(siMe3)3]. In an effort to understand the role played by the bulky substituents, we have prepared a number of related compounds and have investigated their potential for the growth of II-VI materials. We now describe the synthesis and characterization of M[EX(SiMe3)3]2 (M = Zn, Cd, Hg for E = Te, X = C; M = Zn for E = Se, X = C, Si) and their use as precursors molecules for the growth of ZnSe, ZnTe, CdTe and HgTe. The thin films were characterized by Rutherford Back scattering spectrometry (RBS) and X-ray diffraction. Pyrolysis reaction conditions for the alkyl and silyl chalcogenolates are also compared.