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sulfur hexafluoride

Product name sulfur hexafluoride
GOST no data
CAS 2551-62-4

Sulfur hexafluoride SF6 is a colorless, non-toxic, non-flammable, odorless gas. Its molecule has an octahedral configuration, consisting of six fluorine atoms attached to a central sulfur atom. Sulfur hexafluoride is very chemical-resistant compound. It does not react with acids, alkalies, oxidizing or reducing agents. It is stable upon action of molten sodium. Sulfur hexafluoride is poorly soluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents. It is generally transported as a liquified compressed gas. At atmospheric pressures it sublimes directly from a solid to a gas. It has a much higher dielectric strength than air or dry nitrogen. This property makes it possible to significantly reduce the size of electrical gear.


Sulfur hexafluoride is manufactured:

  • by reaction of fluorine with liquid or gaseous sulfur followed by purification from other sulfur fluorides and condensation:

    S8 + 24F2 --> 8SF6

  • by catalytical interaction of fluorine with sulfur tetrafluoride;
  • by thermal decomposition of SF5Cl at 200-300°C;


    Sulfur hexafluoride is applied:

  • as a gaseous insulator in high-voltage transformers, condensers, gas-filled cables, circuit breakers, other electric apparatus, electron accelerators;
  • as an inert blanketing agent;
  • as a refrigerant;
  • in semiconductor manufacturing as a fluorine source for high density plasma etching without generating carbon by-products. It can be used for etching metal silicides (specially tungsten etchback), nitrides and oxides versus their metal substrates;
  • in the magnesium industry;
  • as a trace gas for determining ventilation rates and air movements in buildings;
  • as a working medium in gas chemical lasers;
  • for sulfur isotopes separation by laser chemistry;
  • as a contrast agent for ultrasound imaging. Sulfur hexafluoride microbubbles are administered in solution through injection into a peripheral vein. These microbubbles enhance their visibility of blood vessels to ultrasound.

  • Manufacturer(s) OJSC Halogen
    Chemical structure of sulfur hexafluoride

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