Nitrogen trifluoride is an oxidizing compressed gas that has gained acceptance 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 a material that is incompatible with fluorine (e.g., flammable gas, metals).
Because of the widespread use and the potential for mishandling of nitrogen trifluoride, this publication has been written and is intended for the suppliers, distributors and users of nitrogen trifluoride and its handling equipment. Its purpose is to provide a good understanding of the potential hazards involved in handling nitrogen trifluoride and the approach to be taken to minimize the risk of incidents.