Carbon compounds: carbon tetrafluoride

carbon symbol icon

The carbon in carbon tetrafluoride formally is in the oxidation state 4.

Crystal structure of carbon tetrafluoride

Carbon tetrafluoride

  • Formula as often written: CF4
  • Hill system formula: C1F4
  • CAS registry number: [75-73-0]
  • Formula weight: 88.004
  • Class: fluoride


  • carbon tetrafluoride
  • carbon(IV) fluoride
  • carbon fluoride
  • tetrafluoromethane

Physical properties

  • Colour: colourless
  • Appearance: gas
  • Melting point: -183.6°C
  • Boiling point: -128°C
  • Density: 1.96 (-184°C)


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Element analysis

Element percentages for the elements in carbon tetrafluoride
Element %
C 13.65
F 86.35


C + 2F2 → CF4

Carbon tetrafluoride may be made by direct reaction between carbon and fluorine. Charcoals are not suitable as higher weight carbon fluoride form. The reaction can be carried out in a copper tube. Impurities in the gaseous product may be removed by fractional distillation. Carbon tetrafluoride melts at -183.6°C and boils at -127.8°C.

Solid state structure

  • Geometry of carbon: 4 coordinate: tetrahedral
  • Prototypical structure:

Crystal structure of carbon tetrafluoride

Isotope pattern

What follows is the calculated isotope pattern for the CF4 unit with the most intense ion set to 100%.

Formula: C1F4

mass  %
88 100.0 __________________________________________________
89 1.1 _


The data on these compounds pages are assembled and adapted from the primary literature and several other sources including the following.

  • R.T. Sanderson in Chemical Periodicity, Reinhold, New York, USA, 1960.
  • N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw in Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth, UK, 1997.
  • F.A. Cotton, G. Wilkinson, C.A. Murillo, and M. Bochmann, in Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • A.F. Trotman-Dickenson, (ed.) in Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry, Pergamon, Oxford, UK, 1973.
  • R.W.G. Wyckoff, in Crystal Structures, volume 1, Interscience, John Wiley & Sons, 1963.
  • A.R.West in Basic solid state chemistry Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • A.F. Wells in Structural inorganic chemistry, 4th edition, Oxford, UK, 1975.
  • J.D.H. Donnay, (ed.) in Crystal data determinative tables, ACA monograph number 5, American Crystallographic Association, USA, 1963.
  • D.R. Lide, (ed.) in Chemical Rubber Company handbook of chemistry and physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 77th edition, 1996.
  • J.W. Mellor in A comprehensive treatise on inorganic and theoretical chemistry, volumes 1-16, Longmans, London, UK, 1922-1937.
  • J.E. Macintyre (ed.) in Dictionary of inorganic compounds, volumes 1-3, Chapman & Hall, London, UK, 1992.

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