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Fluorination is the chemical process of adding the element fluorine into a molecule. Fluorine has atomic number 9 and is in group 17, the halogens. Fluorination is a kind of halogenation. This periodic table is from wikimedia commons and shows Fluorine's position at the top of the Halogens (group 17).


  • Fluorinating or applying a fluorinated coating to a surface lowers the surface energy and makes the surface more hydrophobic. Desbief et. al. [3] coat an aluminum surface with fluorinated block copolymers to make the aluminum more hydrophobic.
  • Lots of common pharmaceuticals are fluorinated. Fluorinating a pharmaceutical makes it more lipophilic, enhancing absorption of the drug [4]. Common fluorinated pharmaceuticals include Prozac, Paxil, Celebrex, and Lipitor [5]. The pros and cons of fluorinated drugs and their effects on the environment are a topic of debate.


[1] "Halogenation." Wikipedia (accessed Oct. 19, 2009). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halogenation

[2] "Fluorination." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Langage, Houghton Mifflin Company. 4th Ed. (2000). http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fluorination

[3] Desbief, S., Grignard, B., Detrembleur, C., Rioboo, R., Vaillant, A., Seveno, D., Voue, M., De Coninck, J., Jonas, A.M., Jerome, C., Damman, P., and Lazzaroni, R. "Superhydrophobic Aluminum Surfaces by Deposition of Micelles of Fluorinated Block Copolymers," Langmuir (2009). doi: 10.1021/la902565y.

[4] Ismail, F. "Important Fluorinated Drugs in Experimental and Clinical Use," Journal of Fluorine Chemistry 118, 27-33 (2002).

[5] A Second Look. "Index of Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals," Fluoride Toxidity Reserach Collaborative (accessed Oct. 19, 2009). http://www.slweb.org/ftrcfluorinatedpharm.html