What is Xenon Difluoride?
Xenon Difluoride is a chemical compound with the formula XeF2. It was discovered in the year 1962. It is a powerful fluorinating agent. XeF2 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
|Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass||169.29 g/mol|
|Boiling Point||155 °C|
|Melting Point||128.6 °C|
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
The structure of xenon difluoride is illustrated below.
XeF2 structure features two covalent bonds between one xenon atom and two fluorine atoms. The xenon atom also holds 3 lone pairs of electrons.
Physical Properties of Xenon Difluoride – XeF2
|Hydrogen Bond Acceptor||2|
|Solubility||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.