|Molar mass||78.07 g·mol−1|
|Appearance||White crystalline solid (single crystals are transparent)|
|Melting point||1,418 °C (2,584 °F; 1,691 K)|
|Boiling point||2,533 °C (4,591 °F; 2,806 K)|
|0.0015 g/100 mL (18 °C)
0.0016 g/100 mL (20 °C)
Solubility product (Ksp)
|3.9 × 10−11 |
|Solubility||insoluble in acetone
slightly soluble in acid
Refractive index (nD)
|Crystal structure||cubic crystal system, cF12|
|Space group||Fm3m, #225|
|Ca, 8, cubic
F, 4, tetrahedral
|Main hazards||Reacts with conc. sulfuric acid to produce hydrofluoric acid|
|EU Index||Not listed|
|R-phrases||R20, R22, R36, R37, R38|
LD50 (Lethal dose)
|4250 mg/kg (oral, rat)|
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
|what is: / ?)(|
Calcium fluoride is the inorganic compound with the formula CaF2. It is a colourless insoluble solid. It occurs as the mineral fluorite (also called fluorspar), which is often deeply coloured owing to impurities.
The compound crystallizes in a cubic motif. Ca2+ centres are eight-coordinate, being centered in a "box" for eight F− centres. Each F− centre is coordinated to four Ca2+ centre. Although perfectly packed crystalline samples are colorless, the mineral is often deeply colored due to the presence of F-centers.
The mineral fluorspar is abundant, widespread, and mainly of interest as a precursor to HF. Thus, little motivation exists for the industrial production of CaF2. High purity CaF2 is produced by treating calcium carbonate with hydrofluoric acid:
- CaCO3 + 2 HF → CaF2 + CO2 + H2O
Naturally occurring CaF2 is the principal source of hydrogen fluoride, a commodity chemical used to produce a wide range of materials. Calcium fluoride in the fluorite state is of significant commercial importance as a fluoride source. Hydrogen fluoride is liberated from the mineral by the action of concentrated sulfuric acid:
- CaF2 + H2SO4 → CaSO4(solid) + 2 HF
Calcium fluoride is used to manufacture optical components such as windows and lenses, used in thermal imaging systems, spectroscopy, and excimer lasers. It is transparent over a broad range from ultraviolet (UV) to infrared (IR) frequencies. Its low refractive index eliminates the need for anti-reflection coatings. Its insolubility in water is convenient as well.
CaF2 is classified "not dangerous", despite the fact that placing the substance near sulfuric acid produces toxic hydrofluoric acid. With regards to inhalation, the NIOSH-recommended concentration of fluorine-containing dusts is 2.5 mg/m3 in air.
- Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0-07-049439-8
- X-ray Diffraction Investigations of CaF2 at High Pressure, L. Gerward, J. S. Olsen, S. Steenstrup, M. Malinowski, S. Åsbrink and A. Waskowska, Journal of Applied Crystallography (1992), 25, 578-581 doi:10.1107/S0021889892004096
- G. L. Miessler and D. A. Tarr “Inorganic Chemistry” 3rd Ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall publisher, ISBN 0-13-035471-6.
- Aigueperse, Jean; Paul Mollard, Didier Devilliers, Marius Chemla, Robert Faron, Renée Romano, Jean Pierre Cuer (2005), "Fluorine Compounds, Inorganic", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, doi:10.1002/14356007.a11_307
- Aigueperse, Jean; Mollard, Paul; Devilliers, Didier; Chemla, Marius; Faron, Robert; Romano, Renée; Cuer, Jean Pierre (2005), "Fluorine Compounds, Inorganic", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, p. 307, doi:10.1002/14356007.a11_307.
- Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. "Inorganic Chemistry" Academic Press: San Diego, 2001. ISBN 0-12-352651-5.
- NIST webbook thermochemistry data
- Charles Townes on the history of lasers
- National Pollutant Inventory - Fluoride and compounds fact sheet
- Crystran Material Data
- MSDS (University of Oxford)