Is F2 polar or nonpolar? - Polarity of F2

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Is F2 polar or nonpolar

Fluorine is a highly toxic diatomic gaseous compound represented by the chemical formula F2. This lightest halogen is a pale yellow-green gas with a pungent odor at room temperature.

Fluorine is the most reactive and electronegative element in the Periodic Table. The small amounts of fluorine present in the natural water protect our teeth from dental decay.

In this article, we will discuss the polarity of fluorine (F2). So, is F2 polar or non-polar? Continue reading to find out.

Is F2 polar or non-polar?

Fluorine (F2) is a non-polar molecule. The F-F bond in the F2 molecule is non-polar due to no electronegativity difference between the bonded atoms.

As the F2 molecule contains two same atoms and there is no difference in electronegativity between the two atoms, the electronic charge is evenly distributed over the molecule.

Due to this, the F-F bond in the F2 molecule is non-polar and possesses no dipole moment value.

Thus, the symmetric, linear F2 molecule is non-polar with a net dipole moment equal to 0.

Name of moleculeFluorine (F2)
Bond typeNon-polar covalent
Molecular geometryLinear
Polar or Non-polar?Non-polar
Dipole momentZero
Bond angle180°

What is a polar and non-polar molecule?

A molecule with an equal charge distribution between different centers of bonded atoms is a non-polar molecule.

It is formed by the covalent bond between two same atoms leading to a symmetric electron density in the molecule overall, such as the F2 molecule.

In the case of asymmetric molecules, If the dipole moments of individually polar bonds are canceled, the molecule will be non-polar.

Hence, a non-polar molecule has an equal distribution of the electronic charge. Contrarily, if the electronic charge is not evenly distributed over the molecule, in that case, it will be a polar molecule.

Polar vs nonpolar molecule

The following three factors influence the polarity of any covalent molecule:

  • Electronegativity.
  • Dipole moment.
  • Molecular geometry or shape.

How do these factors lead to the non-polar nature of the fluorine (F2) molecule? Let’s find out.

Factors affecting the polarity of F2

Electronegativity

It is defined as the ability of an atom to attract a shared pair of electrons from a covalent chemical bond.  

Electronegativity decreases down the group in the Periodic Table of elements while it increases across a period.

It is directly related to the polarity of any molecule. The greater the difference in electronegativity between atoms in a molecule, the higher will be the bond polarity.

Fluorine belongs to group VII-A (or 17) of the Periodic Table. The electronic configuration of fluorine is 1s22s22p5, so it has 7 valence electrons for bonding.

The two F atoms thus form a single covalent bond with each other to complete their octet configuration in the F2 molecule.

One valence electron consumed in bonding out of the seven initially available leaves behind six valence electrons, i.e., three lone pairs of electrons on each F atom in the F2 molecule.

atom present in F2

AtomElectronic configurationValence electrons
Fluorine (9F)1s22s22p57

According to Pauling’s electronegativity scale, a molecule is non-polar if there is an electronegativity difference of 0 units between the bonded atoms.

Fluorine is the most electronegative atom in the Periodic Table (E.N = 3.98). There is no difference in electronegativity between the same bonded atoms in the F2 molecule.

bonds in F2 nonpolar because of equal sharing of electrons

Due to the zero electronegativity difference, there is a uniform electronic charge distribution in the F2 molecule overall. As a result, no charged poles are developed in the F2 molecule.

Thus, the F-F bond is non-polar in the F2 molecule.

F-F bond is nonpolar in F2

Dipole Moment

The dipole moment is the product of electrical charge (Q) and bond length (r) between two bonded atoms. It is a vector quantity expressed in Debye (D) units.

It is represented by a Greek symbol µ and measures the polarity of a bond.

The dipole moment of any molecule depends on the difference in electronegativity between the bonded atoms. The greater the electronegativity difference, the higher the bond polarity, resulting in a high dipole moment value.

It points from the partial positive (δ+) center to the partial negative (δ) center of a bond or molecule.

dipole moment representation

As the F2 molecule constituents the atoms of the same element (F), there is no difference in electronegativity between the bonded atoms. Due to this, the net dipole of the F-F bond is zero in the F2 molecule.

As a result of the zero dipole moment of the F-F bond, the F2 molecule is non-polar.

dipole moment of F2

Molecular geometry

As discussed earlier, a fluorine (F2) molecule consists of a single F-F covalent bond. The overall molecule consists of a total of 14 valence electrons. There are three lone pairs of electrons on each F atom.

What is F2 lewis structure

The molecule adopts a linear shape to minimize the repulsion effects due to the lone pairs on each F atom. There is a bond angle of 180 degrees.

why is F2 nonpolar

Due to no electronegativity difference between the bonded atoms, the F-F bond has no dipole moment value in the fluorine (F2) molecule. There is an equal charge distribution over the molecule.

Thus, fluorine (F2) is a non-polar molecule with a zero dipole moment.

Difference between polar and nonpolar?

Polar moleculeNon-polar molecule
Atoms must have a difference in
electronegativity
Atoms may have the same or different electronegativity values
Unequal charge distribution overallEqual charge distribution overall
Net dipole moment greater than zeroNet dipole moment equals to zero
Examples include water (H2O), ethanol (CH3CH2OH), ammonia (NH3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), bromine trifluoride (BrF3), nitric oxide (NO), bromine pentafluoride (BrF5), etc.Examples include oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2), fluorine (F2), methane (CH4), sulfur trioxide (SO3), etc.

Also, check –

FAQ

Why is fluorine (F2) a non-polar molecule?

F2 has a non-polar covalent bond because there is no electronegativity difference between bonded F atoms.

  • There is a uniform distribution of the electron cloud over the F2
  • The linear molecule has a dipole moment value equal to zero.

Thus, fluorine (F2) is a non-polar molecule.

Hydrogen (H2) and fluorine (F2) are non-polar, while hydrogen fluoride (HF) is polar. How?

Hydrogen (H2) and fluorine (F2) are non-polar because there is no electronegativity difference between bonded atoms in each molecule.

There is a uniform distribution of the electron cloud over both. Thus, H2 and F2 are non-polar with zero dipole moment value.

Hydrogen fluoride (HF) is a polar molecule because of an electronegativity difference of 1.78 units between the bonded H and F atoms.

There is a non-uniform distribution of the electron cloud over the HF molecule. Thus, HF is polar with a dipole moment value of 1.8 D.

polarity of F2 vs H2 vs HF

Is fluorine (F2) soluble in water?

Fluorine gives a very violent reaction upon adding to water and produces a mixture of hydrogen fluoride (HF) and ozone (O3).

So there is no point of solubility in this case.

However, other halogens like bromine and chlorine dissolve in water to some extent.

reaction of F2 with H2O

Is there a formal charge on the bonded atoms in the F2 molecule?

Formal charge of an atom = [ valence electrons – non-bonding electrons- ½ (bonding electrons)]

For fluorine atoms

  • Valence electrons = 7
  • Bonding electrons = 2
  • Non-bonding electrons = 6

∴ The formal charge on the fluorine atoms  = 7-6-2/2 = 1-1  = 0

Thus, no formal charge is present on the fluorine (F2) molecule.

Summary

  • Fluorine (F2) is a non-polar molecule.
  • It consists of a single non-polar F-F bond due to an electronegativity difference of 0 units between the bonded atoms.
  • The electronic charge is evenly distributed over the molecule due to no electronegativity difference between the same atoms.
  • There are three lone pairs of electrons on each F atom in the linear-shaped molecule.
  • The F-F bond angle is 180 °, and the bond length is 142 pm.
  • Due to the zero electronegativity difference, the F-F bond has no dipole moment value, and no poles are formed in the molecule.
  • In conclusion, the linear F2 molecule is non-polar in nature (μ =0).
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