Magnesium Fluoride
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Magnesium Fluoride
Magnesium fluoride[1]
Magnesium fluoride
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.029.086 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 231-995-1
RTECS number
  • OM3325000
Molar mass 62.3018g/mol
Appearance White tetragonal crystals
Density 3.148g/cm3
Melting point 1,263 °C (2,305 °F; 1,536 K)
Boiling point 2,260 °C (4,100 °F; 2,530 K)
Solubility Insoluble in ethanol
Rutile (tetragonal), tP6
P42/mnm, No. 136
Safety data sheet ChemicalBook
GHS pictograms Irritant
GHS Signal word Warning
H303, H315, H319, H335
P261, P304+340, P305+351+338, P405
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
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):
2330 (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Other anions
Magnesium chloride
Magnesium bromide
Magnesium iodide
Other cations
Beryllium fluoride
Calcium fluoride
Strontium fluoride
Barium 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

Magnesium fluoride is an inorganic compound with the formula MgF2. The compound is a white crystalline salt and is transparent over a wide range of wavelengths, with commercial uses in optics that are also used in space telescopes. It occurs naturally as the rare mineral sellaite.

Production and structure

Magnesium fluoride is prepared from magnesium oxide with sources of hydrogen fluoride such as ammonium bifluoride:

MgO + (NH4)HF2 -> MgF2 + NH3 + H2O

Related metathesis reactions are also feasible.

The compound crystallizes as tetragonal birefringent crystals. The structure of the compound is similar to that in rutile, featuring octahedral Mg2+ centers and 3-coordinate fluoride centres.[4]



Magnesium fluoride is transparent over an extremely wide range of wavelengths. Windows, lenses, and prisms made of this material can be used over the entire range of wavelengths from 0.120 ?m (vacuum ultraviolet) to 8.0 ?m (infrared). High quality synthetic VUV grade MgF2 is quite expensive, in the region of $3/kg (2007) but the real cost of optics in this material is due to relatively low volume manufacture. However, with lithium fluoride it is one of the two materials that will transmit in the vacuum ultraviolet range at 121 nm (Lyman alpha) and this is where it finds its application. Lower grade MgF2 is sometimes used in the infrared but here it is inferior to calcium fluoride. MgF2 is tough and works and polishes well, but it is slightly birefringent and should be cut with the optic axis perpendicular to the plane of the window or lens.[4]

Due to its having a suitable refractive index of 1.37, thin layers of MgF2 are very commonly used on the surfaces of optical elements as inexpensive anti-reflective coatings.

The Verdet constant of (MgF2) at 632.8 nm is 0.00810arcmin/G⋅cm.[5]


Chronic exposure to magnesium fluoride may affect the skeleton, kidneys, central nervous system, respiratory system, eyes and skin, and may cause or aggravate attacks of asthma.[6]


  1. ^ Lide, David R. (1998), Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (87 ed.), Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, pp. 4-67, 1363, ISBN 0-8493-0594-2
  2. ^ "Magnesium Fluoride Material Safety Data Sheet". Science Labs. May 21, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Magnesium fluoride". CAS DataBase List. ChemicalBook. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ a b 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, doi:10.1002/14356007.a11_307
  5. ^ J. Chem. Soc., Faraday Trans., 1996, 92, 2753 - 2757. doi:10.1039/FT9969202753
  6. ^ "Magnesium Fluoride Material Safety Data Sheet". ESPI Metals. August 2004. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017.

External links

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