For the first time, aluminium fluorides in liquid phase are available for optical applications. By modifying the conditions of the fluorolytic sol–gel synthesis of aluminium fluorides transparent sols with low viscosities were obtained. These sols consist mainly of small oligomeric or cluster units of aluminium fluoride which are not measurable by DLS, WAXS, SAXS and show unusual narrow signals in solid state NMR. Isolated particles with diameters up to five nanometers can be identified by TEM measurements and allow the use of their sols in optical and anti reflecting coatings. The sol particles were modified by trifluoroacetic acid to prevent agglomeration, and as a result, the obtained xerogels can be re-dispersed transparently in organic solvents.
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