Introduction to Calcium Fluoride (CaF2)

Tue, 19. Sep 23 - Fri, 29. Sep 23


Date: Tuesday, 19. September 2023 - Friday, 29. September 2023

Time: All day




Zip and city: NYC


Introduction to Calcium Fluoride (CaF2)

Calcium Fluoride (CaF2), commonly known as Fluorspar or Fluorite, is a naturally occurring mineral found in many areas around the world. It is a crystalline compound that possesses an array of unique properties, making it a material of significant interest in multiple industries. Its primary applications are found in the fields of metallurgy and optical coatings, where it is recognized for its valuable characteristics and uses.

Physical and Chemical Properties of Calcium Fluoride

CaF2 is a white or colorless compound that forms cubic crystals in its most stable state. It has a high melting point of about 1418 °C and is insoluble in water. One of the key features of Calcium Fluoride is its low refractive index, which makes it an ideal material for optical applications. Additionally, its high thermal stability and resistance to most acids, except for hydrofluoric acid, contribute to its suitability in various industrial applications.

Calcium Fluoride in Metallurgy

In the metallurgical industry, Calcium Fluoride is primarily used as a flux, a material that aids in the smelting process. Fluxes are essential in metallurgy as they help lower the melting point of certain materials, reduce energy consumption, and improve the efficiency of the smelting process.

In the production of steel and other metals, CaF2 is added to remove impurities such as silica from the metal during the smelting process. The Calcium Fluoride reacts with the silica to form calcium silicate, which can be easily removed. This helps in purifying the metal and enhancing its properties.

Calcium Fluoride in Optical Coatings – A Deeper Dive

The use of Calcium Fluoride extends beyond the realm of metallurgy. Its unique optical properties make it an ideal material for use in optical coatings. In this field, the low refractive index and wide transmission spectrum of CaF2 are highly desirable.

Calcium Fluoride coated lense

One of the main applications of CaF2 in optical coatings is in the manufacture of anti-reflective coatings. These coatings are used in a variety of optical devices such as lenses, optical fibers, and photovoltaic cells to reduce reflections and increase the efficiency of light transmission.

In the production of these coatings, a technique known as sputtering is often employed. Here, a Calcium Fluoride sputter target is used. Sputtering is a process in which ions are used to knock off atoms from a target material (in this case, Calcium Fluoride), which then deposit onto a substrate to form a thin film. The low refractive index and high transmission characteristics of Calcium Fluoride make it an excellent sputter target for the production of anti-reflective and other optical coatings.

Furthermore, due to its wide transmission range, Calcium Fluoride is also used in the manufacture of infrared optics, including windows, lenses, and spectrometer crystals for IR spectroscopy. It is also a common material in the production of ultraviolet optics, due to its ability to transmit ultraviolet light at wavelengths as low as 150 nm.


From its use as a flux in metallurgy to its critical role in optical coatings, Calcium Fluoride is a versatile material with a broad range of applications. Its unique properties, especially its low refractive index and wide transmission spectrum, make it an ideal candidate for the production of optical coatings using techniques such as sputtering. As technology advances, the demand for materials like Calcium Fluoride, with their diverse applications and properties, will continue to grow.

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Written by Jason.


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