Is AsH3 polar or nonpolar? - Polarity of AsH3

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The question is –

Is AsH3 polar or non-polar?


AsH3 is a polar molecule.


AsH3 is polar as the dipole moments of slightly polar As-H bonds do not get canceled in the asymmetrical trigonal pyramidal shape of the molecule.

AsH3 consists of three As-H bonds and 1 lone pair of electrons on the central arsenic (As) atom.

Each As-H bond is very weakly polar owing to a minute electronegativity difference of 0.02 units between the bonded As-atom (E.N = 2.18) and H-atom (E.N = 2.20).

Therefore, the central As-atom gains a partial positive (δ+) charge while each terminal H-atom obtains partial negative (δ) charges in the AsH3 molecule.

The small dipole moment of each As-H bond thus points from Asδ+ to Hδ- in AsH3.

One lone pair of electrons surrounds the central As-atom, which leads to lone pair-bond pair electronic repulsions; hence distortion in the overall molecular shape.

Is AsH3 polar or nonpolar

AsH3 thus adopts an asymmetrical trigonal pyramidal molecular shape and geometry. The dipole moment vectors of As-H bonds do not get canceled.

Consequently, the charged electron cloud stays non-uniformly spread over the molecule, and the overall polarity effect is enhanced.

As a result, AsH3 is a polar molecule with a permanent dipole moment of net µ = 1.4 Debye.  

How to know if a compound is polar or nonpolar?

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