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Lithium oxide
IUPAC name
Other names Lithium monoxide
CAS number 12057-24-8 Yes check.svgY
PubChem 166630
RTECS number OJ6360000
Molecular formula Li2O
Molar mass 29.88 g/mol
Appearance white solid
Density 2.013 g/cm3
Melting point

1570 °C, 1843 K, 2858 °F

Solubility in water decomposes
6.67 g/100 mL (0 °C)
10.02 g/100 mL (100 °C)
log P 9.23
Refractive index (nD) 1.644 [1]
Crystal structure Antifluorite (cubic), cF12
Space group Fm3m, No. 225
Tetrahedral (Li+); cubic (O2–)
Std enthalpy of
-20.01 kJ/g
Specific heat capacity, C 18.105 J/g K
EU Index Not listed
Main hazards Corrosive, reacts violently with water
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions Lithium sulfide
Other cations Sodium oxide
Potassium oxide
Rubidium oxide
Caesium oxide
Related lithium oxides Lithium peroxide
Lithium superoxide
Related compounds Lithium hydroxide
 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Lithium oxide (Li2O) or lithia is an inorganic chemical compound. Lithium oxide is formed along with small amounts of lithium peroxide when lithium metal is burned in the air and combines with oxygen[2]:

4Li+O2 → 2Li2O.

Pure Li2O can be produced by the thermal decomposition of lithium peroxide, Li2O2 at 450°C[2]

2Li2O2 → 2Li2O + O2



In the solid state lithium oxide adopts an antifluorite structure which is related to the CaF2, fluorite structure with Li cations substituted for fluoride anions and oxide anions substituted for calcium cations.[3]

The ground state gas phase Li2O molecule is linear with a bond length consistent with strong ionic bonding.[4][5] VSEPR theory would predict a bent shape similar to H2O.


Lithium oxide is used as a flux in ceramic glazes; and creates blues with copper and pinks with cobalt. Lithium oxide reacts with water and steam, forming lithium hydroxide and should be isolated from them.

Its usage is also being investigated for non-destructive emission spectroscopy evaluation and degradation monitoring within thermal barrier coating systems. It can be added as a co-dopant with yttria in the zirconia ceramic top coat, without a large decrease in expected service life of the coating. At high heat, lithium oxide emits a very detectable spectral pattern, which increases in intensity along with degradation of the coating. Implementation would allow in situ monitoring of such systems, enabling an efficient means to predict lifetime until failure or necessary maintenance.

A possible new use is as a replacement for lithium cobalt oxide as the cathode in the lithium ion batteries used to power electronic devices from mobile phones to laptop computers to battery-powered cars.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0070494398
  2. ^ a b Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, A. (1984), Chemistry of the Elements, Oxford: Pergamon, pp. 97–99, ISBN 0-08-022057-6  
  3. ^ Zintl, E.; Harder, A.; Dauth B. (1934), "Gitterstruktur der oxyde, sulfide, selenide und telluride des lithiums, natriums und kaliums", [[Zeitschrift für Elektrochemie und Angewandte Physikalische Chemie |Z. Elektrochem. Angew. Phys. Chem.]] 40: 588–93  
  4. ^ Wells A.F. (1984) Structural Inorganic Chemistry 5th edition Oxford Science Publications ISBN 0-19-855370-6
  5. ^ A spectroscopic determination of the bond length of the LiOLi molecule: Strong ionic bonding, D. Bellert, W. H. Breckenridge, J. Chem. Phys. 114, 2871 (2001); doi:10.1063/1.1349424
  6. ^ "Air power". The Economist, Technology Quarterly. September 3 2009. Retrieved September 9 2009.  

External links


Simple English

Lithium oxide is a chemical compound. Its chemical formula is Li2O. It contains lithium and oxide ions.



Lithium oxide is a white solid. It is a strong base. It is corrosive when dissolved in water. Lithium oxide dissolves in water to make lithium hydroxide. It reacts with acids to make lithium salts. It reacts with carbon dioxide to form lithium carbonate. Lithium carbonate is much less corrosive. It makes a red color in a flame.


When lithium is burned to air, it forms lithium oxide. This reaction also makes lithium nitride. It can also be made by heating lithium peroxide.


It is used as a wikt:flux in glazing ceramics. It can be used in scientific research. It could also be used in lithium ion batteries.


Lithium oxide is very corrosive. It reacts with water to make lithium hydroxide. It is toxic because of its strong alkalinity (being a base).

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