Is Hypochlorous acid (HClO) polar or nonpolar? - Polarity of HClO

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The question is –

Is HClO polar or non-polar?


HClO is a polar molecule.  


Hypochlorous acid (HClO) is polar as it consists of polar O-H and O-Cl bonds.

 The unequal O-H and O-Cl dipole moments do not get canceled in the bent, angular, or V-shape of the molecule.   

HClO consists of an oxygen (O) atom at the center. It is single-covalently bonded to a hydrogen (H) atom on one side and a chlorine (Cl) atom on the other.

It is due to 2 lone pair of electrons on the central O-atom that leads to strong lone pair-lone pair and lone pair-bond pair repulsions in the molecule, and thus, HClO occupies an asymmetric bent, angular or V-shape.

 In HClO, a high electronegativity difference of 1.24 units exists between the bonded hydrogen (E.N = 2.20) and oxygen (E.N = 3.44) atoms in the O-H bond while an electronegativity difference of 0.28 units exists between the bonded oxygen and chlorine (E.N = 3.16) atoms in the O-Cl bond.

Therefore, the O-H bond is strongly polar, while the O-Cl bond is weakly polar.

The central O-atom gains a partial negative charge (δ), while the terminal H and Cl-atoms attain partial positive charges (δ+) relatively.

is hypochlorous acid (hclo) polar or nonpolar

The O-H bond possesses a strong dipole moment value, while the O-Cl bond possesses a weak dipole moment value.

Therefore, in the asymmetric bent shape, the O-Cl and O-H dipole moments do not get canceled equally.

Consequently, HClO is a polar molecule overall (net µ > 0).

HOCl lewis structure, molecular geometry, bond angle, hybridization

How to know if a compound is polar or nonpolar?

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