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Oxides Alkali Metals

(i)    Pure Li2O is prepared by thermal decomposition of Li2O2
          4500C           1
Li2O2   →   Li2O + 2   O2

(ii)    Sodium oxide (Na2O) can be prepared by any one of the following reactions :

Na2O2 + 2Na    →   2 Na2O
NaOH + Na       →   Na2O + 1  H2
NaNO2 + 3Na   →  2Na2O  + 1  N2
(iii)    The normal oxides of other alkali metals (K, Rb and Cs) can be prepared by similar reactions.
Li2O and Na2O are white, K2O yellowish white, Rb2O bright yellow and Cs2O orange in colour . The compounds are stable towards heat and decompose only slightly below 5000C.

The oxides M2O (Li, Na, K,Rb) have the antifluorite structure. The structure is related to CaF2 (fluorite) strucutrebut with the sites occupied by cations and anions are interchanged.

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