Lithium oxide (Li 2O) or lithia is an inorganicchemical compound. It is a white solid. Although not specifically important, many materials are assessed on the basis of their Li2O content. For example, the Li2O content of the principal lithium mineral spodumene (LiAlSi2O6) is 8.03%.
In the solid state lithium oxide adopts an antifluorite structure which is related to the CaF 2, fluorite structure with Li cations substituted for fluoride anions and oxide anions substituted for calcium cations.
The ground state gas phase Li 2O molecule is linear with a bond length consistent with strong ionic bonding.VSEPR theory would predict a bent shape similar to H 2O.
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.
Lithium metal might be obtained from lithium oxide by electrolysis, releasing oxygen as by-product.