3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||127.49 g⋅mol−1|
|Melting point||317–321 °C (603–610 °F; 590–594 K)|
|Solubility||0.182 g/100 g (16 °C, ethanol)|
Std enthalpy of
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|Lithium azide |
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Rubidium azide has been investigated for possible use in alkali vapor cells, which are components of atomic clocks, atomic magnetometers and atomic gyroscopes. Azides are desirable starting materials because they decompose into rubidium metal and nitrogen gas when exposed to UV light. According to one publication:
Among the different techniques used to fill microfabricated alkali vapor cell [sic], UV decomposition of rubidium azide (RbN3) into metallic Rb and nitrogen in Al2O3 coated cells is a very promising approach for low-cost wafer-level fabrication.
At room temperature, rubidium azide has the same structure as potassium hydrogen fluoride; a distorted cesium chloride structure. At 315 °C and 1 atm, rubidium azide will transition to the normal cesium chloride structure. The II/I transition temperature of rubidium azide is within 2 °C of its melting point.
Rubidium azide has a high pressure structure transition, which occurs at about 4.8 kilobars of pressure at 0 °C. The transition boundary of the II/III transition can be defined by the relationship , where is the pressure in kilobars and is the temperature in degrees Celsius.
As with all azides, it will decompose and release nitrogen gas when heated or severely shocked:
Discharge rubidium azide in nitrogen gas will produce rubidium nitride.
At 4.1 kilobars of pressure and about 460 °C, rubidium azide will explosively decompose. Under normal circumstances, it explodes at 395 °C. It also decomposes upon exposure to ultraviolet light.
Like all azides, rubidium azide is toxic.