Is SCl4F2 polar or nonpolar? - Polarity of SCl4F2

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The question is –

Is SCl4F2 polar or non-polar?


SCl4F2 could be polar or non-polar depending upon the arrangement of outer atoms around the central S-atom.

In an arrangement where the two F-atoms oppositely point to each other, SCl4F2 is a non-polar molecule.


SCl4F2 consists of a sulfur (S) atom at the center. It is surrounded by 4 chlorine (Cl) atoms and 2 fluorine (F) atoms.

There are a total of four S-Cl single covalent bonds and two S-F bonds.

Each S-Cl bond is polar as per an electronegativity difference of 0.58 units between the sulfur (E.N = 2.58) and chlorine (E.N = 3.16) atoms.

Conversely, both S-F bonds are strongly polar, having an electronegativity difference of 1.40 units between the sulfur and fluorine (E.N = 3.98) atoms, respectively.

Thus, all S-Cl and S-F bonds possess specific dipole moment values (symbol µ).

is scl4f2 polar or nonpolar

In the octahedral shape and molecular geometry of SCl4F2, if the bonded atoms are symmetrically arranged such that the 4 Cl-atoms occupy the four corners of the base while the 2 F-atoms lie on opposite sides, one on top and the other at the bottom of the base, then the S-Cl and S-F dipole moments get canceled equally.

This results in an overall non-polar molecule (net µ = 0).

In another possible arrangement, if the two F-atoms are not oppositely directed, the S-Cl and S-F dipole moments do not get canceled, then SCl4F2 is polar (net µ > 0).

How to know if a molecule is polar or nonpolar?

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