Why is Chlorine Fluoride called "Chlorine Fluoride" rather than "Fluorine Chloride"? As I was taught in school that normally that when nonmetal combine with nonmetal then we write the compound with lower atomic number first.

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    $\begingroup$ Think about electronegativities. $\endgroup$ – Equinox Jun 5 '17 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ Anionic part is written in the suffix. $\endgroup$ – chail10 Jun 6 '17 at 0:40

Basically, with interhalogen compounds (and possibly most of binary inorganic compounds) are named like "element" "element'ide'", where no suffix is used for the electropositive part (eg: sodium, oxygen, nitrogen), and a suffix "ide" is used for the electronegative part (eg: chloride, oxide, nitride, phosphide, carbide).

Regarding $\ce{ClF}$, fluorine is clearly the electronegative atom here. Thus the name would be Chlorine fluoride.

Another example of this is from my personal favorite compound, $\ce{O2F2}$

Here, we have subscripts to indicate the number of atoms. In such cases, we add prefixes "di" or "tri" or "tetra" to the name.

$\ce{O2F2}$ would be correctly called as Dioxygen difluoride.


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