Is Dichlorine monoxide (Cl2O) polar or nonpolar? – Polarity of Cl2O

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The question is –

Is Cl2O polar or nonpolar?


Cl2O is a polar molecule.


Dichlorine monoxide (Cl2O) is polar because the dipole moments of polar Cl-O bonds do not get canceled in the asymmetric bent shape of Cl2O.

Cl2O consists of two Cl-O bonds.

Each Cl-O bond is slightly polar as it possesses an electronegativity difference of 0.28 units between the single-covalently bonded chlorine (E.N = 3.16) and oxygen (E.N = 3.44) atoms.

The central O-atom gains a partial negative charge (δ), while each of the two Cl-atoms gains partial positive charges (δ+) in the Cl2O molecule.

In Cl2O, the central O-atom possesses 2 lone pairs of electrons, which leads to strong lone pair-lone pair and lone pair-bond pair electronic repulsions.

This strong repulsive effect distorts the shape and geometry of the molecule, which leads to an overall bent, angular, or V-shape.

is cl2o polar or nonpolar - dichlorine monoxide

The Cl-O dipole moments do not get canceled in the asymmetric bent shape. Rather, the overall polarity effect is enhanced as the charged electron cloud stays non-uniformly distributed over the molecule.

 Consequently, Cl2O is overall polar (net µ = 0.78 Debye).

Also, check –

How to identify polar or nonpolar compounds?

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