Caesium oxide

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Caesium oxide[1][2]
Caesium oxide
IUPAC name
Caesium oxide
Other names
Cesium oxide (US)
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.039.693
EC Number 243-679-0
Molar mass 281.81 g/mol
Appearance yellow-orange solid
Density 4.65 g/cm3, solid
Melting point 490 °C (914 °F; 763 K) (under N2)
reacts violently to form CsOH
+1534.0·10−6 cm3/mol
anti-CdCl2 (hexagonal)
76.0 J K−1 mol−1
146.9 J K−1 mol−1
-345.8 kJ/mol
Main hazards Corrosive
GHS pictograms GHS05: CorrosiveGHS08: Health hazard
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterHealth code 3: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. E.g. chlorine gasReactivity code 2: Undergoes violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures, reacts violently with water, or may form explosive mixtures with water. E.g. white phosphorusSpecial hazard W: Reacts with water in an unusual or dangerous manner. E.g. sodium, sulfuric acidNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions
Caesium hydroxide
Other cations
Lithium oxide
Sodium oxide
Potassium oxide
Rubidium oxide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Caesium oxide (IUPAC name) or cesium oxide describes inorganic compounds composed of caesium and oxygen. The following binary (containing only Cs and O) oxides of caesium are known: Cs11O3, Cs4O, Cs7O, and Cs2O.[3] Both the oxide and suboxides are brightly coloured. The species Cs2O forms yellow-orange hexagonal crystals.[1]


Caesium oxide is used in photocathodes to detect infrared signals in devices such as image intensifiers, vacuum photodiodes, photomultipliers, and TV camera tubes[4] L. R. Koller described the first modern photoemissive surface in 1929–30 as a layer of caesium on a layer of caesium oxide on a layer of silver.[5] It is a good electron emitter; however, its high vapor pressure limits its usefulness.[6]


Elemental magnesium reduces caesium oxide to elemental caesium, forming magnesium oxide as a side-product:[7][8]

Cs2O + Mg → 2Cs + MgO

Cs2O is hygroscopic, forming the corrosive CsOH on contact with water.


  1. ^ a b Lide, David R., ed. (2006). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (87th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. pp. 451, 514. ISBN 0-8493-0487-3..
  2. ^ Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1984). Chemistry of the Elements. Oxford: Pergamon Press. pp. 97–100. ISBN 978-0-08-022057-4..
  3. ^ Simon, A. (1997), "Group 1 and 2 Suboxides and Subnitrides — Metals with Atomic Size Holes and Tunnels", Coord. Chem. Rev., 163: 253–270, doi:10.1016/S0010-8545(97)00013-1.
  4. ^ Capper, Peter; Elliott, C. T. (2000), Infrared Detectors and Emitters, Springer, p. 14, ISBN 978-0-7923-7206-6
  5. ^ Busch, Kenneth W.; Busch, Marianna A. (1990), Multielement Detection Systems for Spectrochemical Analysis, Wiley-Interscience, p. 12, ISBN 978-0-471-81974-5
  6. ^ Boolchand, Punit, ed. (2000), Insulating and Semiconducting Glasses, World Scientific, p. 855, ISBN 978-981-02-3673-1
  7. ^ Turner, Jr., Francis M., ed. (1920), The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, New York: Chemical Catalog Co., p. 121
  8. ^ Arora, M.G. (1997), S-Block Elements, New Delhi: Anmol Publications, p. 13, ISBN 978-81-7488-562-3