A sol-gel method to prepare inorganic complex fluorides, SrAlF5 and BaMgF4 is described. Metal acetates and alkoxide were used as starting materials, and trifluoroacetic acid was used as a fluorine source. The formation of the fluorides was examined using thermal analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and infrared (IR) absorption. The fluorides were formed through the highly exothermic decomposition reaction of trifluoroacetate gels at temperatures around 321-339°C. The heating time necessary to produce SrAlF5 and BaMgF4 powder samples was considerably reduced in the sol-gel process as compared to the solid-state reaction between SrF2 and AlF3 or BaF2 and MgF2. It is also shown that BaMgF4 thin films could be prepared by the sol-gel process using a spin-coating technique. The characteristics of the films were investigated with a field emission scanning electron microscope and a spectrophotometer.
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