Rubidium chloride

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Rubidium chloride
Other names
rubidium(I) chloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.029.310 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
PubChem CID
RTECS number
  • VL8575000
  • InChI=1S/ClH.Rb/h1H;/q;+1/p-1 Yes check.svgY
  • InChI=1/ClH.Rb/h1H;/q;+1/p-1
  • [Rb+].[Cl-]
Molar mass 120.921 g/mol
Appearancewhite crystals
Density 2.80 g/cm3 (25 °C)
2.088 g/mL (750 °C)
Melting point 718 °C (1,324 °F; 991 K)
Boiling point 1,390 °C (2,530 °F; 1,660 K)
77 g/100mL (0 °C)
91 g/100 mL (20 °C)
130 g/100 mL (100 °C)
Solubility in methanol 1.41 g/100 mL
46.0·10−6 cm3/mol
52.4 JK1mol1
95.9 JK1mol1
435.14 kJ/mol
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flash point Non-flammable
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
4440 mg/kg (rat)
Safety data sheet (SDS) Fisher Scientific
Related compounds
Other anions
Rubidium fluoride
Rubidium bromide
Rubidium iodide
Rubidium astatide
Other cations
Lithium chloride
Sodium chloride
Potassium chloride
Caesium chloride
Francium chloride
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Rubidium chloride is the chemical compound with the formula RbCl. This alkali metal halide salt is composed of rubidium and chlorine, and finds diverse uses ranging from electrochemistry to molecular biology.



In its gas phase, RbCl is diatomic with a bond length estimated at 2.7868 Å. [1] This distance increases to 3.285 Å for cubic RbCl, reflecting the higher coordination number of the ions in the solid phase. [2]

Depending on conditions, solid RbCl exists in one of three arrangements or polymorphs as determined with holographic imaging: [3]

Sodium chloride (octahedral 6:6)

The sodium chloride (NaCl) polymorph is most common. A cubic close-packed arrangement of chloride anions with rubidium cations filling the octahedral holes describes this polymorph. [4] Both ions are six-coordinate in this arrangement. The lattice energy of this polymorph is only 3.2 kJ/mol less than the following structure's. [5]

Caesium chloride (cubic 8:8)

At high temperature and pressure, RbCl adopts the caesium chloride (CsCl) structure (NaCl and KCl undergo the same structural change at high pressures). Here, the chloride ions form a simple cubic arrangement with chloride anions occupying the vertices of a cube surrounding a central Rb+. This is RbCl's densest packing motif. [2] Because a cube has eight vertices, both ions' coordination numbers equal eight. This is RbCl's highest possible coordination number. Therefore, according to the radius ratio rule, cations in this polymorph will reach their largest apparent radius because the anion-cation distances are greatest. [4]

Sphalerite (tetrahedral 4:4)

The sphalerite polymorph of rubidium chloride has not been observed experimentally. This is consistent with the theory; the lattice energy is predicted to be nearly 40.0 kJ/mol smaller in magnitude than those of the preceding structures. [5]

Synthesis and reaction

The most common preparation of pure rubidium chloride involves the reaction of its hydroxide with hydrochloric acid, followed by recrystallization: [6]

RbOH + HCl → RbCl + H2O

Because RbCl is hygroscopic, it must be protected from atmospheric moisture, e.g. using a desiccator. RbCl is primarily used in laboratories. Therefore, numerous suppliers (see below) produce it in smaller quantities as needed. It is offered in a variety of forms for chemical and biomedical research.

Rubidium chloride reacts with sulfuric acid to give rubidium hydrogen sulfate.


Every 18 mg of rubidium chloride is equivalent to approximately one banana equivalent dose due to the large fraction (27.8%) of naturally-occurring radioactive isotope rubidium-87.


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alkali metal</span> Group of highly-reactive chemical elements

The alkali metals consist of the chemical elements lithium (Li), sodium (Na), potassium (K), rubidium (Rb), caesium (Cs), and francium (Fr). Together with hydrogen they constitute group 1, which lies in the s-block of the periodic table. All alkali metals have their outermost electron in an s-orbital: this shared electron configuration results in their having very similar characteristic properties. Indeed, the alkali metals provide the best example of group trends in properties in the periodic table, with elements exhibiting well-characterised homologous behaviour. This family of elements is also known as the lithium family after its leading element.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caesium</span> Chemical element, symbol Cs and atomic number 55

Caesium is a chemical element with the symbol Cs and atomic number 55. It is a soft, silvery-golden alkali metal with a melting point of 28.5 °C (83.3 °F), which makes it one of only five elemental metals that are liquid at or near room temperature. Caesium has physical and chemical properties similar to those of rubidium and potassium. The most reactive of all metals, it is pyrophoric and reacts with water even at −116 °C (−177 °F). It is the least electronegative element, with a value of 0.79 on the Pauling scale. It has only one stable isotope, caesium-133. Caesium is mined mostly from pollucite. The element has 40 known isotopes, making it, along with barium and mercury, one of the elements with the most isotopes. Caesium-137, a fission product, is extracted from waste produced by nuclear reactors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Inorganic chemistry</span> Field of chemistry

Inorganic chemistry deals with synthesis and behavior of inorganic and organometallic compounds. This field covers chemical compounds that are not carbon-based, which are the subjects of organic chemistry. The distinction between the two disciplines is far from absolute, as there is much overlap in the subdiscipline of organometallic chemistry. It has applications in every aspect of the chemical industry, including catalysis, materials science, pigments, surfactants, coatings, medications, fuels, and agriculture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ionic bonding</span> Chemical bonding involving attraction between ions

Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bonding that involves the electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions, or between two atoms with sharply different electronegativities, and is the primary interaction occurring in ionic compounds. It is one of the main types of bonding along with covalent bonding and metallic bonding. Ions are atoms with an electrostatic charge. Atoms that gain electrons make negatively charged ions. Atoms that lose electrons make positively charged ions. This transfer of electrons is known as electrovalence in contrast to covalence. In the simplest case, the cation is a metal atom and the anion is a nonmetal atom, but these ions can be of a more complex nature, e.g. molecular ions like NH+
or SO2−
. In simpler words, an ionic bond results from the transfer of electrons from a metal to a non-metal in order to obtain a full valence shell for both atoms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Protactinium</span> Chemical element, symbol Pa and atomic number 91

Protactinium is a chemical element with the symbol Pa and atomic number 91. It is a dense, silvery-gray actinide metal which readily reacts with oxygen, water vapor and inorganic acids. It forms various chemical compounds in which protactinium is usually present in the oxidation state +5, but it can also assume +4 and even +3 or +2 states. Concentrations of protactinium in the Earth's crust are typically a few parts per trillion, but may reach up to a few parts per million in some uraninite ore deposits. Because of its scarcity, high radioactivity and high toxicity, there are currently no uses for protactinium outside scientific research, and for this purpose, protactinium is mostly extracted from spent nuclear fuel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rubidium</span> Chemical element, symbol Rb and atomic number 37

Rubidium is the chemical element with the symbol Rb and atomic number 37. Rubidium is a very soft, whitish-grey metal in the alkali metal group. Rubidium metal shares similarities to potassium and caesium in physical appearance, softness and conductivity. Rubidium cannot be stored under atmospheric oxygen, as a highly exothermic reaction will ensue, sometimes even resulting in the metal catching fire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ionic compound</span> Chemical compound involving ionic bonding

In chemistry, an ionic compound is a chemical compound composed of ions held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding. The compound is neutral overall, but consists of positively charged ions called cations and negatively charged ions called anions. These can be simple ions such as the sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl) in sodium chloride, or polyatomic species such as the ammonium (NH+
) and carbonate (CO2−
) ions in ammonium carbonate. Individual ions within an ionic compound usually have multiple nearest neighbours, so are not considered to be part of molecules, but instead part of a continuous three-dimensional network. Ionic compounds usually form crystalline structures when solid.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cubic crystal system</span> Crystallographic system where the unit cell is in the shape of a cube

In crystallography, the cubiccrystal system is a crystal system where the unit cell is in the shape of a cube. This is one of the most common and simplest shapes found in crystals and minerals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zinc chloride</span> Chemical compound

Zinc chloride is the name of inorganic chemical compounds with the formula ZnCl2 and its hydrates. Zinc chlorides, of which nine crystalline forms are known, are colorless or white, and are highly soluble in water. This salt is hygroscopic and even deliquescent. Zinc chloride finds wide application in textile processing, metallurgical fluxes, and chemical synthesis. No mineral with this chemical composition is known aside from the very rare mineral simonkolleite, Zn5(OH)8Cl2·H2O.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barium chloride</span> Chemical compound

Barium chloride is an inorganic compound with the formula BaCl2. It is one of the most common water-soluble salts of barium. Like most other water-soluble barium salts, it is white, highly toxic, and imparts a yellow-green coloration to a flame. It is also hygroscopic, converting first to the dihydrate BaCl2(H2O)2. It has limited use in the laboratory and industry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lead(II) chloride</span> Chemical compound

Lead(II) chloride (PbCl2) is an inorganic compound which is a white solid under ambient conditions. It is poorly soluble in water. Lead(II) chloride is one of the most important lead-based reagents. It also occurs naturally in the form of the mineral cotunnite.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aluminium chloride</span> Chemical compound

Aluminium chloride, also known as aluminium trichloride, is an inorganic compound with the formula AlCl3. It forms hexahydrate with the formula [Al(H2O)6]Cl3, containing six water molecules of hydration. Both are colourless crystals, but samples are often contaminated with iron(III) chloride, giving a yellow color.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chromium(III) chloride</span> Chemical compound

Chromium(III) chloride (also called chromic chloride) describes any of several chemical compounds with the formula CrCl3 · xH2O, where x can be 0, 5, and 6. The anhydrous compound with the formula CrCl3 is a violet solid. The most common form of the trichloride is the dark green hexahydrate, CrCl3 · 6 H2O. Chromium chlorides find use as catalysts and as precursors to dyes for wool.

Ionic radius, rion, is the radius of a monatomic ion in an ionic crystal structure. Although neither atoms nor ions have sharp boundaries, they are treated as if they were hard spheres with radii such that the sum of ionic radii of the cation and anion gives the distance between the ions in a crystal lattice. Ionic radii are typically given in units of either picometers (pm) or angstroms (Å), with 1 Å = 100 pm. Typical values range from 31 pm (0.3 Å) to over 200 pm (2 Å).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rubidium oxide</span> Chemical compound

Rubidium oxide is the chemical compound with the formula Rb2O. Rubidium oxide is highly reactive towards water, and therefore it would not be expected to occur naturally. The rubidium content in minerals is often calculated and quoted in terms of Rb2O. In reality, the rubidium is typically present as a component of (actually, an impurity in) silicate or aluminosilicate. A major source of rubidium is lepidolite, KLi2Al(Al,Si)3O10(F,OH)2, wherein Rb sometimes replaces K.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rubidium perchlorate</span> Chemical compound

Rubidium perchlorate, RbClO4, is the perchlorate of rubidium. It is an oxidizing agent, as are all perchlorates.

In chemistry, the lattice energy is the energy change upon formation of one mole of a crystalline ionic compound from its constituent ions, which are assumed to initially be in the gaseous state. It is a measure of the cohesive forces that bind ionic solids. The size of the lattice energy is connected to many other physical properties including solubility, hardness, and volatility. Since it generally cannot be measured directly, the lattice energy is usually deduced from experimental data via the Born–Haber cycle.

A Schottky defect is an excitation of the site occupations in a crystal lattice leading to point defects named after Walter H. Schottky. In ionic crystals, this defect forms when oppositely charged ions leave their lattice sites and become incorporated for instance at the surface, creating oppositely charged vacancies. These vacancies are formed in stoichiometric units, to maintain an overall neutral charge in the ionic solid.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gallium trichloride</span> Chemical compound

Gallium trichloride is the chemical compound with the formula GaCl3. Solid gallium trichloride exists as a dimer with the formula Ga2Cl6. It is colourless and soluble in virtually all solvents, even alkanes, which is truly unusual for a metal halide. It is the main precursor to most derivatives of gallium and a reagent in organic synthesis.

In chemistry, crystallography, and materials science, the coordination number, also called ligancy, of a central atom in a molecule or crystal is the number of atoms, molecules or ions bonded to it. The ion/molecule/atom surrounding the central ion/molecule/atom is called a ligand. This number is determined somewhat differently for molecules than for crystals.


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