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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
  • InChI=1S/2FH.Mg/h2*1H;/q;;+2/p-2 checkY
  • InChI=1/2FH.Mg/h2*1H;/q;;+2/p-2
  • F[Mg]F
  • [Mg+2].[F-].[F-]
Molar mass 62.3018 g/mol
Appearance White tetragonal crystals
Density 3.148 g/cm3
Melting point 1,263 °C (2,305 °F; 1,536 K)
Boiling point 2,260 °C (4,100 °F; 2,530 K)
0.013 g/(100 mL)
−22.7⋅10−6 cm3/mol
Rutile (tetragonal), tP6
P42/mnm, No. 136
61.6 J⋅mol−1⋅K−1
57.2 J⋅mol−1⋅K−1
−1124.2 kJ⋅mol−1
−1071 kJ/mol
GHS labelling:
H303, H315, H319, H335
P261, P304+P340, P305+P351+P338, P405
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
NFPA 704 four-colored diamondHealth 3: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. E.g. chlorine gasFlammability 0: Will not burn. E.g. waterInstability 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g. liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no code
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
2330[clarification needed] (rat, oral)
Safety data sheet (SDS) ChemicalBook
Related compounds
Other anions
Other cations
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
checkY verify (what is checkY☒N ?)

Magnesium fluoride is an ionically bonded 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.


Magnesium fluoride is prepared from magnesium oxide with sources of hydrogen fluoride such as can be obtained from the breakdown of ammonium bifluoride:

MgO + [NH4]HF2 → MgF2 + NH3 + H2O

Related metathesis reactions are also feasible:

Mg(OH)2 + CuF2 → MgF2 + Cu(OH)2


The compound crystallizes as tetragonal birefringent crystals. The structure of the magnesium fluoride is similar to that of rutile,[4][5] featuring octahedral Mg2+ cations and 3-coordinate F anions.[6]

Coordination geometry in magnesium fluoride[7]
Magnesium coordination Fluorine coordination

In the gas phase, monomeric MgF2 molecules adopt a linear molecular geometry.[4][5]



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 μm (vacuum ultraviolet) to 8.0 μm (infrared). High-quality, synthetic magnesium fluoride is one of two materials (the other being lithium fluoride) that will transmit in the vacuum ultraviolet range at 121 nm (Lyman alpha). Lower-grade magnesium fluoride is inferior to calcium fluoride in the infrared range.[citation needed]

Magnesium fluoride is tough and polishes well but is slightly birefringent and should therefore be cut with the optic axis perpendicular to the plane of the window or lens.[6] Due to its suitable refractive index of 1.37, magnesium fluoride is commonly applied in thin layers to the surfaces of optical elements as an inexpensive anti-reflective coating.[citation needed] Its Verdet constant is 0.00810 arcminG−1⋅cm−1 at 632.8 nm.[8]


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.[9]


  1. ^ W.M. Haynes, ed. (2016), "Physical Constants of Inorganic Compounds", Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (97th ed.), CRC Press, pp. 4–71 (789), ISBN 978-1-4987-5429-3
  2. ^ "Magnesium Fluoride Material Safety Data Sheet". Science Labs. May 21, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "Magnesium fluoride". CAS DataBase List. ChemicalBook. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Wells, A. F. (1984). Structural Inorganic Chemistry (5th ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 413, 441. ISBN 978-0-19-965763-6.
  5. ^ a b Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. pp. 117–119. ISBN 978-0-08-037941-8.
  6. ^ a b Aigueperse, Jean; Mollard, Paul; Devilliers, Didier; Chemla, Marius; Faron, Robert; Romano, René; Cuer, Jean Pierre (2000). "Fluorine Compounds, Inorganic". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a11_307. ISBN 978-3527306732.
  7. ^ Haines, J.; Léger, J. M.; Gorelli, F.; Klug, D. D.; Tse, J. S.; Li, Z. Q. (2001). "X-ray diffraction and theoretical studies of the high-pressure structures and phase transitions in magnesium fluoride". Phys. Rev. B. 64 (13): 134110. Bibcode:2001PhRvB..64m4110H. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.64.134110.
  8. ^ J. Chem. Soc., Faraday Trans., 1996, 92, 2753 - 2757. doi:10.1039/FT9969202753
  9. ^ "Magnesium Fluoride Material Safety Data Sheet". ESPI Metals. August 2004. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
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Magnesium fluoride
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