The electron configuration of Rubidium is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 5s1. Rubidium is the chemical element whose atomic number is 37, is represented by the symbol Rb and is part of the periodic table. Rubidium is characterized by being a soft and alkaline metal, its color is silvery white with a luster, it tarnishes quickly in air and is quite reactive.
Like the other elements belonging to group 1, rubidium burns spontaneously in air, its flame is yellowish-violet, it reacts violently with water, releasing hydrogen and creating an amalgam with mercury. It can create alloys with antimony, gold, bismuth and other alkali and alkaline earth metals.
Similarly, as with other alkali metals, this element has only one oxidation state. It reacts with hydrogen, carbon dioxide, sulfur, nitrogen and halogens. It is located in the 16th place of the most abundant metals in the earth’s crust.
Electron configuration of rubidium
The full electron configuration of rubidium is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 5s1 and its simplified or abbreviated electron configuration is Kr 5s1.
This Electron configuration is so because rubidium has a total of 37 electrons because its atomic number is precisely 37. The atomic number reflects the number of protons an element has in its nucleus, next to the atom which is electrically neutral , meaning it also has 37 electrons.
Uses of Rubidium
Rubidium can be easily ionized, which is why its use has been investigated in spacecraft ion engines. Although cesium and xenon show superior efficiency for this use. Rubidium is primarily used in the creation of special crystals for telecommunications systems with night vision and fiber optic equipment. Other uses of these elements are:
- Refine vacuum with getter. This substance is used to absorb the last remaining traces of gas, mainly oxygen, through vacuum tubes that ensure its proper functioning.
- It is used to coat rubidium and tellurium light emitters in Electron detectors and photoelectric cells.
- It is used in medicine to perform positron emission tomography, to separate viruses and nucleic acids by ultracentrifugation, and also to treat epilepsy.
- It is a composite of photoresistors in which the electrical resistance changes with the light it receives.
- It is used to obtain the purple tint of fireworks.
- In the working fluid with steam turbines.
- In various bonds, this element replaces cesium due to its chemical similarity.
Obtaining and abundance of rubidium
It is obtained from different minerals such as pollucite, leucite and zinnwaldite. Lepidolite contains 1.5% of this material. Most metal is obtained from it. There are potassium and potassium chloride minerals which are made up of significant amounts of rubidium which allow for profitable mining, there are also pollucite deposits which are located in Canada.
There are other methods to obtain this metal. One of them is to minimize rubidium chloride with vacuum calcium. The hydroxide is also heated with the magnesium, creating a current of hydrogen. Small quantities can be obtained by heating the compounds of this element with chlorine and mixing them with barium oxide under vacuum. The purity of the metal sold can vary between 99 and 99.8%.
Rubidium reacts violently with water, it can produce hydrogen ignition. To ensure the purity of the metal and its safe handling, it is stored in dry mineral oil, under an inert atmosphere or under vacuum.