Fluoride is an inorganic, monatomic anion of fluorine with the chemical formula F−
. Fluoride is the simplest anion of fluorine. Its salts and minerals are important chemical reagents and industrial chemicals, mainly used in the production of hydrogen fluoride for fluorocarbons. In terms of charge and size, the fluoride ion resembles the hydroxide ion. Fluoride ions occur on earth in several minerals, particularly fluorite, but are only present in trace quantities in water. Fluoride contributes a distinctive bitter taste. It contributes no color to fluoride salts.
Structure of fluoride salts
Salts containing fluoride are numerous and adopt myriad structures. Typically the fluoride anion is surrounded by four or six cations, as is typical for other halides. Sodium fluoride and sodium chloride adopt the same structure. For compounds containing more than one fluoride per cation, the structures often deviate from those of the chlorides, as illustrated by the main fluoride mineral fluorite (CaF2) where the Ca2+ ions are surrounded by eight F– centers. In CaCl2, each Ca2+ ion is surrounded by six Cl– centers.