Rubidium oxide is a strong alkali metal with a yellow color. It can be found in a variety of forms, including flakes, powders, and nanopowders.
Rubidium and its compounds are useful in a wide range of applications, including ceramic structures, advanced electronics, and light weight structural components in aerospace. It also exhibits ionic conductivity, making it suitable for many applications.
Rubidium is an alkali metal that is usually present as a component of silicates and aluminosilicates. The main oxidation product, rubidium peroxide, is produced by oxidation of the metal with oxygen. Another common oxidation product is superoxide, which is reduced to the metal.
Rubidium is also used to make alloys. Some examples of these alloys are containing gold, sodium, and cesium. In order to obtain these alloys, the rubidium is first reduced with calcium or sodium. After the reduction, the mixture is stored in dry mineral oil, which keeps it stable.
Rubidium vapor is used for laser cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation. However, it needs moderate temperatures to evaporate. Since it is reactive, it can cause fires.
Rubidium is a highly reactive metal, and flammable in excess. Because of this, it is not often used commercially. Historically, it was used for research and electronic applications. However, a shortage of supply and high prices discourage its use. Several of its applications are being considered, including ion engines and thermoelectric generators.
Rubidium can also be used in fireworks, where it gives a purple flame. This metal is also used in atomic clocks, which are less accurate than the more common cesium atomic clock.