Rubidium azide

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Rubidium azide
IUPAC name
Rubidium azide
Other names
Rubidium(I) azide
Molar mass 127.49 g/mol
Odor Odorless
Density 2.937 g/cm3 (20 °C)
Melting point 317–321 °C (603–610 °F; 590–594 K)
Boiling point Decomposes
107.1 g/100 ml (16 °C)
114.1 g/100 ml (17 °C)
Solubility Insoluble in diethyl ether
Solubility in ethanol 0.182 g/100 g (16 °C)[1]
Vapor pressure ~0 mmHg
120.4 J·mol−1·K−1
4.18 kJ/mol
Safety data sheet None
Related compounds
Related compounds
Lithium azide
Sodium azide
Potassium azide
Caesium azide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Rubidium azide is an inorganic compound with the formula RbN3, the rubidium salt of hydrazoic acid.



Rubidium azide decomposes to rubidium metal and nitrogen vapors, decomposition which is explosive.


Rubidium azide is a colorless slightly hygroscopic solid, soluble in water.


Rubidium azide is very sensitive to mechanical shock, with an impact sensitivity comparable to that of TNT.


Rubidium azide doesn't appear to be sold by chemical suppliers, due to its instability.


Ore synthesis of rubidium azide is described in literature, from the reaction of butyl nitrite, hydrazine monohydrate, and rubidium hydroxide.[2]

More conveniently, RbN3 can be prepared by adding a solution of rubidium sulfate to another solution of either barium azide or lead(II) azide. The insoluble sulfate precipitate is then filtered, and the filtered solution is gently dried to remove the water.

Can also be easily produced in high purity by neutralizing hydrazoic acid with rubidium hydroxide[3] or rubidium carbonate.


  • Make pure rubidium metal



Rubidium azide is extremely toxic. The toxicity of azides is similar that of cyanides. There is no known antidote.


Should not be stored and used as soon as possible.


When disposed of, it must never be poured down the drain, as it will react to either copper or lead plumbing to yield copper azide, which is highly sensitive. Hydrolysis can also occur in aqueous solutions, at certain pH. Rubidium azide must be treated with nitrous acid before being discarded. Then the rubidium metal should be recycled.


  1. Curtius, T.; Rissom, J.; Journal fur praktische Chemie (Leipzig 1954); vol. 58; (1898); p. 280
  3. Dennis, L. M.; Benedict, C. H.; Journal of the American Chemical Society; vol. 20; (1898); p. 227

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