Two main classes of fluorous solvents are perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Hydrofluoroethers (HFEs). Both PFCs and HFEs are fluorous phases into which fluorous molecules may partition. They have found extensive use in fluorous liquid-liquid extraction separations. Our labs have pioneered the idea of fluorous solvent tuning to further expand the usefullness of FLLE.
Traditionally, fluorous solvents have been perfluorocarbons (PFCs) such as perfluorohexane, perfluoromethylcyclohexane, or perfluorodecalin. Used extensively in the electronics industry, PFCs are generally very non-polar and posess boiling points similar to their non-fluorous analogs.
These solvents are generally not miscible with either organic or aqueous solvents at ambient temperature or pressure.
Hydrofluoroethers (HFEs) are an emerging class of fluorous solvents that are finding increased use in fluorous separations. They are represented by molecules such as nonafluorobutyl methyl ether, sold under the trade name HFE-7100. These solvents retain many of the fluorous characteristics of perfluorocarbons, but possess higher overall solvating power due to increased polarity relative to PFCs.