XeF2 - Xenon Difluoride

What is Xenon Difluoride?

Xenon Difluoride is discovered in 1962. It is a powerful fluorinating agent. It was considered to be a possible convenient replacement for elemental fluorine especially in addition reactions to a double bond. The oxidation state of xenon in Xenon Difluoride is +2. Xenon tetrafluoride has a negligible vapor pressure at -78° and about 3 mm-Hg at room temperature. Xenon difluoride is a hazardous chemical, reacting with water moisture to form hydrofluoric acid.

Other names – difluoroxenon, Xenon fluoride


Xenon Difluoride


4.32 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

169.29 g/mol

Boiling Point

155 °C

Melting Point

128.6 °C

Chemical Formula


Xenon Difluoride Synthesis – XeF2

  • When a mixture of xenon and fluorine in the ratio of 2:1 is heated at 400oC in a sealed nickel vessel, XeF2 is formed.
  • Xe + F2 → XeF2

  • Dioxygen difluoride reacts with xenon at about 118oC to give XeF2.
  • Xe + O2F2 → XeF2 + O2

Xenon Difluoride Structure – XeF2

Xenon Difluoride Structure

Physical Properties of Xenon Difluoride – XeF2


Nauseating odour


White solid

Covalently-Bonded Unit


Hydrogen Bond Acceptor





Insoluble in water

Uses of Xenon Difluoride – XeF2

  • Used to oxidise and fluorinate the hetero element in an organometallic compound, but does not attack the alkyl or aryl groups
  • Used as a very convenient for the detection and determination of very small amounts of iodine and iodide based on the oxidation of iodine to periodate.
  • Used to kill bacteria, power lasers and tracers as an antiseptic. It is preferred to power spacecraft in deep space as fuel for ion engines.

Practise This Question

For the reaction PCl5 (g)  PCl3 (g) + Cl2 (g) if we start with only a moles of PCl5
PCl5PCl3Cl2(g)Moles t=0a00Moles At Eq.a(1α)aαaα
α is called the degree of dissociation - True or false?