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This report deals with the preparation of a low oxygen content yttrium fluoride using commercial fluorine gas. It was shown that the purity of yttrium fluoride prepared using hydrogen fluoride gas could be improved by treating it with fluorine (1) at a temperature of 600°c under pressures in the range 20 - 25 psig or, to a lesser degree, (2) at 25°C and 1 atmosphere pressure.

Preparation of yttrium fluoride by direct fluorination of yttrium oxide was found to be a spontaneous process which ceases short of equilibrium under the conditions studied. Fluorination of yttrium chloride resulted in a more complete conversion than that obtained with the oxide, but the degree of conversion was not high enough to be of interest.

Calculations made using the best data available at this time show the reaction of yttrium oxide with fluorine gas is a highly exothermic reaction which would be expected to proceed spontaneously to almost complete conversion. A theory is presented which attempts to explain why this did not occur under the conditions imposed.

It was demonstrated that fluorine gas supplied in pressure cylinders can be safely handled in a laboratory hood under the conditions cited above if proper precautions are taken.

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