Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 17:25:04 -0700
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Lawrence M Gibbs <lgibbs**At_Symbol_Here**STANFORD.EDU>
Subject: Re: Rubidium Question
In-Reply-To: <2597F0FFF8AD394ABB54784097B6808BC225CE**At_Symbol_Here**>

Amy, this note below is from someone from our chemistry department. Not specific to Rb, but might be of some help.


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I've not done anything with Rb specifically but I have used my share of oxygen/water reactive metals and some of the basics should apply. 

Rb is a liquid at room temperature if I remember correctly but it likely wets most surfaces leaving a substantial coating on anything it is exposed to.  The primary reactive will be with water and not oxygen.  Rb + H2O  = H2 + Rb(OH)

We would clean our K reactors with wet benzene to react away the residual potassium.  The trace water in solvent would slowly covert any residual metal to KOH very slowly since the water concentration was quite low and the solubility of K is low.  When benzene fell out of favor we used toluene with trace amounts of t-butanol as the reactive agent.  Once we had made KOt-Bu we reacted that with water.

IPA would be somewhat more reactive but may be fine.  I would be tempted to take the solution into the chamber and swab it onto the contaminated parts OR blanket the chamber with Argon and work on it from there.  Cleaning big items contaminated with metals is never easy.


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Johnson, Amy Carr
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:14 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Rubidium Question

We have researchers here who would like  to clean out rubidium that has accumulated in a laser chamber currently filled with argon.  The rubidium has been building up for awhile in the chamber, and the lab users are concerned about it interfering with their experiments. They want to remove a device from the chamber that has the rubidium build-up on it, and then clean it separately from the chamber.  We suggested using a glovebag, but we are not sure if we can fit this around the chamber in an airtight fashion.

One of the options that the researchers proposed was to  oxidize the rubidium slowly, rendering it inert, perhaps using IPA. 

Does anyone have comments about this suggestion?  Or, any other ideas or experience with rubidium re exposure to air?

Thank you

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