Abstract The outstanding characteristics of fluorine gas, e.g., extreme reactivity and oxidizing power, and the utmost electronegativity of F − ion, lead to very strong bonds between fluorine and most of the other elements of the periodical table. Treatments involving F 2, fluorinated gases and rf plasma-enhanced fluorination (PEF) constitute exceptional tools for modifying the surface properties of materials. Many advantages of these techniques can be indeed outlined, when compared to more conventional methods: low-temperature reactions (even at room temperature), chemical modifications limited to surface only without changing the bulk properties, possible non-equilibrium reactions. Depending on the type of starting materials and employed techniques, the improved properties may concern wettability, adhesion, chemical stability, barrier properties, biocompatibility, grafting, mechanical behavior. Several examples of surface fluorination will be given on various types of carbon-based materials, elastomers and polymers.