When there are no polar bonds in a molecule, there is no long-term charge distinction between one component of the molecule and also an additional, and also the molecule is nonpolar. For example, the Cl2 molecule has actually no polar bonds bereason the electron charge is identical on both atoms. It is therefore a nonpolar molecule. None of the bonds in hydrocarbon molecules, such as hexane, C6H14, are significantly polar, so hydrocarbons are nonpolar molecular substances.

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A molecule can possess polarbonds and also still be nonpolar. If the polar bonds are evenly (or symmetrically)distributed, the bond dipoles cancel and carry out not produce a molecular dipole. Forinstance, the 3 bonds in a molecule of BF3 are substantially polar, but theyare symmetrically arranged about the main boron atom. No side of themolecule has more negative or positive charge than one more side, and so themolecule is nonpolar:


A water molecule is polarbereason (1) its O-H bonds are significantly polar, and (2) its bent geometryprovides the circulation of those polar bonds asymmetrical. The side of the watermolecule containing the more electronegative oxygen atom is partly negative,and the side of the molecule containing the less electronegative hydrogen atomsis partly positive.


SampleStudy Sheet: Predicting Molecular Polarity

Tip-off – You are asked to predict whether a molecule is polar or nonpolar; or you are asked a questionthat cannot be answered unless you recognize whether a molecule is polar or nonpolar.(For example, you are asked to predict the kind of attractivity holding theparticles together in a provided liquid or solid.)

General Steps -

Step 1: Draw a reasonable Lewis framework for the substance.

Step 2: Identify each bond as either polar or nonpolar. (Ifthe distinction in electronegativity for the atoms in a bond is higher than 0.4,we take into consideration the bond polar. If the difference in electronegativity is less than0.4, the bond is essentially nonpolar.)

If tright here are no polar bonds, the molecule is nonpolar.

If the molecule has actually polar bonds, move on to Step 3.

Step 3: If there is only one central atom, research theelectron teams approximately it.

If tright here are no lone pairs on the main atom, and also if all thebonds to the main atom are the same, the molecule is nonpolar. (This shortcutis described more totally in the Example that adheres to.)

If the main atom contends least one polar bond and if the groupsbonded to the central atom are not all the same, the molecule is probablypolar. Move on to Tip 4.

Tip 4: Draw a geometric sketch of the molecule.

Tip 5: Determine the symmetry of the molecule making use of theadhering to procedures.

Describe the polar bonds with arrows pointing towards the moreelectronegative element. Use the length of the arrowhead to display the relativepolarities of the different bonds. (A greater difference in electronegativitysays a much more polar bond, which is described with a much longer arrow.)

Decide whether the plan of arrows is symmetrical orasymmetrical

If the arrangement is symmetrical and also the arrows are of equallength, the molecule is nonpolar.

If the arrows are of various lengths, and if they do not balanceeach various other, the molecule is polar.

If the arrangement is asymmetrical, the molecule is polar.

EXAMPLE – Predicting Molecular Polarity:

Decidewhether the molecules stood for by the following formulas are polar ornonpolar. (You may should draw Lewis structures and also geometric sketches to doso.)

a. CO2 b. OF2c. CCl4 d. CH2Cl2e. HCN


a. The Lewis framework for CO2 is


The electronegativities of carbon and also oxygenare 2.55 and also 3.44. The 0.89 difference in electronegativity suggests that theC-O bonds are polar, however the symmetrical plan of these bonds makesthe molecule nonpolar.

If we put arrows into the geometric sketch for CO2, we view that they specifically balance each other, in both direction andmagnitude. This mirrors the symmeattempt of the bonds.


b. The Lewis structure for OF2 is


The electronegativities of oxygen and fluorine,3.44 and 3.98, respectively, create a 0.54 distinction that leads us to predictthat the O-F bonds are polar. The molecular geometry of OF2 is bent. Suchan asymmetrical circulation of polar bonds would certainly produce a polar molecule.


c. The molecular geomeattempt of CCl4 istetrahedral. Even though the C-Cl bonds are polar, their symmetrical arrangementrenders the molecule nonpolar.

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d. TheLewis framework for CH2Cl2 is


The electronegativities of hydrogen, carbon, andchlorine are 2.20, 2.55, and also 3.16. The 0.35 distinction in electronegativity forthe H-C bonds tells us that they are basically nonpolar. The 0.61distinction in electronegativity for the C-Cl bonds mirrors that they arepolar. The complying with geometric sketches present that the polar bonds areasymmetrically arranged, so the molecule is polar. (Notice that the Lewisstructure above incorrectly argues that the bonds are symmetrically arranged.Keep in mind that Lewis structures regularly provide a false impression of the geometryof the molecules they recurrent.)


e. TheLewis structure and geometric sketch for HCN are the same:


The electronegativities of hydrogen,carbon, and also nitrogen are 2.20, 2.55, and also 3.04. The 0.35 distinction inelectronegativity for the H-C bond reflects that it is basically nonpolar. The0.49 difference in electronegativity for the C-N bond tells us that it is polar.Molecules through one polar bond are constantly polar.