Rubidium Phosphate

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Phosphorus is an essential element for life and plays important roles in biochemistry, biogeochemistry, ecology, and agriculture. Its addition and removal (phosphorylation and dephosphorylation) are key steps in many biological processes. Phosphate groups can be found in organic molecules as organophosphates or inorganically as phosphate anions. The anions can also be bound to other metals to form phosphorus tungstates, which are often used in electrochemical applications. Many phosphates are water-soluble, with the exception of tetravalent phosphorus compounds such as disodium phosphate, which is commonly known as table salt. Other soluble phosphates include calcium, sodium, rubidium, potassium, and cesium phosphates, and the polymorphs of dihydrogen phosphate and hydrogen phosphate. The phosphate anions are also often soluble in organic acids.

Phosphate is abundant in nature, forming about 0.1% of Earth’s crust, and quadrillions of tons are currently mined per year. Most of this is extracted from phosphate rock, the dominant source of phosphate in the United States. The largest phosphate deposits are located in the Bone Valley area of central Florida, the Soda Springs region of southeastern Idaho, and the coast of North Carolina. Phosphorus is the third most common mineral in the human body, with about 0.25% of its weight being comprised of this element.

Large single crystals of rubidium titanyl phosphate (RTP) have been grown by flux method, and the properties of the crystals have been studied using synchrotron white beam X-ray topography and characterization techniques. The precise lattice parameters of the tetragonal RTP crystal have been determined. The temperature-dependent electric properties have been measured, revealing that the ferroelectric phase transition is of displacive type and takes place at 829 + 1degC.