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Oxygen difluoride is the chemical compound with the formula OF2. As predicted by VSEPR theory, the molecule adopts a bent structure like H2O, but it has very different properties, being a strong oxidant.
Additional recommended knowledge
Oxygen difluoride was first reported in 1929; it was obtained by the electrolysis of molten potassium fluoride and hydrofluoric acid containing small quantities of water. The modern preparation entails the reaction of fluorine with a dilute aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide:
Its powerful oxidizing properties are suggested by the oxidation number of +2 for the oxygen atom, which is unusual. Above 200 °C, OF2 decomposes to oxygen and fluorine via a radical mechanism.
OF2 reacts with many metals to yield oxides and fluorides. Nonmetals also react: phosphorus reacts with OF2 to form PF5 and POF3; sulfur gives SO2 and SF4; and unusually for a noble gas, xenon reacts, yielding XeF4 and xenon oxyfluorides.
Oxygen difluoride reacts very slowly with water to form hydrofluoric acid:
In Robert L. Forward's science fiction novel Camelot 30K, oxygen difluoride was used as a biochemical solvent by fictional life forms living in the solar system's Kuiper belt.
OF2 is a dangerous chemical, as is the case for any strongly oxidizing gas.
Categories: Oxygen compounds | Fluorides | Nonmetal halides | Rocket oxidizers
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oxygen_difluoride". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|