Fluorocarbons, sometimes referred to as perfluorocarbons or PFCs, are organofluorine compounds that contain only carbon and fluorine bonded together in strong carbon–fluorine bonds. Fluoroalkanes that contain only single bonds are more chemically and thermally stable than alkanes. However, fluorocarbons with double bonds (fluoroalkenes) and especially triple bonds (fluoroalkynes) are more reactive than their corresponding hydrocarbons. Fluoroalkanes can serve as oil-repellent/water-repellent fluoropolymers, solvents, liquid breathing research agents, and powerful greenhouse gases. Unsaturated fluorocarbons tend to be used as reactants.
Many chemical compounds are labeled as fluorocarbons, perfluorinated, or with the prefix perfluoro- despite containing atoms other than carbon or fluorine, such as chlorofluorocarbons and perfluorinated compounds; however, these molecules are fluorocarbon derivatives, and not true fluorocarbons. Fluorocarbon derivatives share many of the properties of fluorocarbons, while also possessing new properties due to the inclusion of new atoms. For example, fluorocarbon derivatives can function as fluoropolymers, refrigerants, solvents, anesthetics, fluorosurfactants, and ozone depletors.