Nitrogen trifluoride is an oxidizing compressed gas that is used in a number of applications as a fluorinating agent. It is this property that makes it valuable as a nonreactive source of fluorine for etching and cleaning applications. The active fluorine is released only if sufficient energy is applied. Once initiated, the reaction is self-propagating and presents a hazard for materials that are incompatible with fluorine, for example, flammable gas and metals.
Nitrogen trifluoride can be safely handled if equipment is properly designed and handling precautions are taken.
Because of its widespread use and its potential for mishandling, this publication has been written and is intended for suppliers, distributors, and users of nitrogen trifluoride and its handling equipment. This publication provides a description of the potential hazards involved in handling nitrogen trifluoride and the guidelines to be taken to minimise risk potential.
The manufacture, purification, and analysis of nitrogen trifluoride are beyond the scope of this publication, although the general guidance given is also relevant to these processes.
The publication is part of the programme to develop Globally Harmonised publications amongst Regional Gas Associations.