High temperature properties of Rb3H(SO4)2 at ambient pressure: Absence of a polymorphic, superprotonic transition

Lisa A. Cowan, Riham M. Morcos, Naoyuki Hatada, Alexandra Navrotsky, Sossina M. Haile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The high temperature properties of Rb3H(SO4)2 have been studied by calorimetry, impedance spectroscopy and X-ray powder diffraction under moderate humidification. At ~ 205 °C the conductivity of Rb3H(SO4)2 increases sharply, rising from 3.3 × 10- 5 to 1.9 × 10- 3 S/cm, suggestive of a polymorphic, superprotonic phase transition. This conductivity anomaly is accompanied by an endothermic thermal event with a heat of transition of ~ 18 kJ/mol. The X-ray powder diffraction pattern of Rb3H(SO4)2 collected at 214 °C, however, shows peaks that can be attributed to Rb2SO4 and an unknown solid phase. The results indicate that, rather than a polymorphic transition, the conductivity increase of Rb3H(SO4)2 corresponds to solid state disproportionation, described as Rb3H(SO4)2(s) → Rb2SO4(s) + RbmHn(SO4)p(s), where the phase of unknown composition is rich in sulfuric acid relative to Rb3H(SO4)2. Drop solution calorimetry, carried out using molten sodium molybdate as the solvent, revealed the enthalpy of the alternative reaction Rb3H(SO4)2(s) → Rb2SO4(s) + RbHSO4(s) to be essentially zero (0.9 ± 2.7 kJ/mol), supporting the assertion that the observed transformation involves different product phases. The standard enthalpy of formation of Rb3H(SO4)2 from the elements at 25 °C was found to be - 2602 ± 10 kJ/mol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-313
Number of pages9
JournalSolid State Ionics
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Drop solution calorimetry
  • Proton conduction
  • RbH(SO)
  • RbH(SO)
  • RbHSO
  • RbSO
  • Solid acid
  • Superprotonic transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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