Lithium fluoride

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Lithium fluoride
Lithium fluoride boule
Lithium fluoride
NaCl polyhedra.png
__Li+     __ F
IUPAC name
Lithium fluoride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.029.229
EC Number 232-152-0
RTECS number OJ6125000
Molar mass 25.939(2) g/mol
Appearance white powder or transparent crystals,
Density 2.635 g/cm3
Melting point 845 °C (1,553 °F; 1,118 K)
Boiling point 1,676 °C (3,049 °F; 1,949 K)
0.127 g/100 mL (18 °C)
0.134 g/100 mL (25 °C)
Solubility soluble in HF
insoluble in alcohol
−10.1·10−6 cm3/mol
a = 403.51 pm
1.604 J/(g K)
1.376 J/(g K)
-616 kJ/mol
GHS pictograms GHS06: Toxic
GHS signal word Danger
H301, H315, H319, H335[1]
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 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
143 mg/kg (oral, rat)[2]
Related compounds
Other anions
Lithium chloride
Lithium bromide
Lithium iodide
Lithium astatide
Other cations
Sodium fluoride
Potassium fluoride
Rubidium fluoride
Caesium fluoride
Francium fluoride
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

Lithium fluoride is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula LiF. It is a colorless solid, that transitions to white with decreasing crystal size. Although odorless, lithium fluoride has a bitter-saline taste. Its structure is analogous to that of sodium chloride, but it is much less soluble in water. It is mainly used as a component of molten salts.[3] Formation of LiF from the elements releases one of the highest energy per mass of reactants, second only to that of BeO.


LiF is prepared from lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate with hydrogen fluoride.[4] It can be also generated by reacting the sulfur hexafluoride with the metallic lithium, as in the engine of Mark 50 torpedo, but this pathway is not used industrially due to the high cost of reagents.


In molten salts[edit]

Fluorine is produced by the electrolysis of molten potassium bifluoride. This electrolysis proceeds more efficiently when the electrolyte contains a few percent of LiF, possibly because it facilitates formation of an Li-C-F interface on the carbon electrodes.[3] A useful molten salt, FLiNaK, consists of a mixture of LiF, together with sodium fluoride and potassium fluoride. The primary coolant for the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment was FLiBe; LiF-BeF2 (66-33 mol%).


Because of the large band gap for LiF, its crystals are transparent to short wavelength ultraviolet radiation, more so than any other material. LiF is therefore used in specialized UV optics,[5] (See also magnesium fluoride). Lithium fluoride is used also as a diffracting crystal in X-ray spectrometry.

Radiation detectors[edit]

It is also used as a means to record ionizing radiation exposure from gamma rays, beta particles, and neutrons (indirectly, using the 6
(n,alpha) nuclear reaction) in thermoluminescent dosimeters. 6LiF nanopowder enriched to 96% has been used as the neutron reactive backfill material for microstructured semiconductor neutron detectors (MSND).[6]

Nuclear reactors[edit]

Lithium fluoride (highly enriched in the common isotope lithium-7) forms the basic constituent of the preferred fluoride salt mixture used in liquid-fluoride nuclear reactors. Typically lithium fluoride is mixed with beryllium fluoride to form a base solvent (FLiBe), into which fluorides of uranium and thorium are introduced. Lithium fluoride is exceptionally chemically stable and LiF/BeF2 mixtures (FLiBe) have low melting points (360 °C - 459 °C) and the best neutronic properties of fluoride salt combinations appropriate for reactor use. MSRE used two different mixtures in the two cooling circuits.

Cathode for PLED and OLEDs[edit]

Lithium fluoride is widely used in PLED and OLED as a coupling layer to enhance electron injection. The thickness of the LiF layer is usually around 1 nm. The dielectric constant (or relative permittivity) of LiF is 9.0.[7]

Natural occurrence[edit]

Naturally occurring lithium fluoride is known as the extremely rare mineral griceite.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2014-08-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b J. Aigueperse, P. Mollard, D. Devilliers, M. Chemla, R. Faron, R. Romano, J. P. Cuer, "Fluorine Compounds, Inorganic" in Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2005. doi:10.1002/14356007.a11_307.
  4. ^ S.L. Bellinger et al. "Improved High Efficiency Stacked Microstructured Neutron Detectors Backfilled with Nanoparticle 6LiF," IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci., 59 (2012) 167-173 .
  5. ^ "Crystran Ltd., a manufacturer of infrared and ultraviolet optics". Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  6. ^ D.S. McGregor, S.L. Bellinger, and J.K. Shultis, "Present Status of Microstructured Semiconductor Neutron Detectors, 379 (2013) 99-110.
  7. ^ C. Andeen, J. Fontanella,D. Schuel, "Low-Frequency Dielectric Constant of LiF, NaF, NaC1, NaBr, KC1, and KBr by the Method of Substitution", Physical Review B, 2, 5068-5073 (1970) doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.2.5068.
  8. ^ Mindat "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2014-01-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)