Is OH- polar or nonpolar? – (Polarity of OH-)

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The question is –

Is OH polar or nonpolar?


OH is polar.  


The hydroxide (OH) ion is polar due to a high electronegativity difference between the covalently bonded oxygen and hydrogen atoms which leads to a strong dipole moment value.

As per Pauling’s electronegativity scale, a polar covalent bond is formed between two dissimilar atoms having an electronegativity difference ranging from 0.4 to 1.6 units.

The OH ion consists of only a single covalent bond i.e., an O-H bond.

The O-H bond is strongly polar as an electronegativity difference of 1.24 units is present between an oxygen (E.N = 3.44) and a hydrogen (E.N = 2.20) atom.

Oxygen, being more electronegative than hydrogen, strongly attracts the O-H electron cloud towards itself.

It thus gains a partial negative charge (δ), while the H-atom gains a partial positive charge (δ+), respectively.

In this way, oppositely charged poles develop in OH.

The strong dipole moment of the O-H bond stays uncancelled in the linear shape of OH ion.

The charged electron cloud stays unequally distributed over the hydroxide ion.

is OH- polar or nonpolar

The presence of a -1 formal charge on the oxygen atom and, thus, on the molecular ion as a whole further enhances the polarity effect.

Consequently, OH is overall polar (net µ > 0).

Also, check –

How to identify polar or nonpolar compounds?

Is OH an acid or base?

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