What is the difference between polar and nonpolar covalent bonds?

Answer

In nonpolar covalent bonds, electrons are shared equally by both members of the bond, but they are shared unequally in polar covalent bonds. Polar covalent bonds occur when there is a difference in electronegativity, or electron affinity, between covalently bonded atoms. The polarity, or lack thereof, of a molecule greatly affects how it interacts with other molecules.

Polarity in covalent bonds is highly variable, depending on the elements involved. The only truly nonpolar covalent bonds are in molecules made of a single element, like nitrogen or oxygen gas. Otherwise, there is always a difference in electron affinity between the members of a bond, so any covalent bond between two different elements is at least slightly polar. In some cases, such as carbon and hydrogen, the difference is very slight.

Just because the covalent bonds in a molecule are polar does not mean the molecule itself is polar. For instance, oxygen has a much greater electron affinity than carbon, but carbon dioxide is not polar. This is because the oxygen atoms sit on opposite sides of the carbon, so their charges cancel each other out.

Polar covalent charges will only form up to a certain difference in electronegativity. Beyond that, instead of sharing any electrons in a covalent bond, the more electronegative member will steal them, forming an ionic bond.

Q&A Related to "What is the difference between polar and nonpolar..."
A covalent bond in which the electrons are shared equally.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_nonpolar_coval...
A covalent bond is a form of chemical bonding where atoms share electrons. The sharing of these electrons is known as covalent bonding. The term covalance was first used in 1919.
http://www.ask.com/web-answers/Science/Chemistry/w...
polar is like a water molecule. The covalent bond SHARES electrons. so on a water molecule the oxygen end pulls on the electrons (it just does, because of the shape of the molecule
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200711...
Hydrophobic bonds, nonpolar covalent bonds, are in fact quite common in
http://www.chacha.com/question/why-are-nonpolar-co...
Explore this Topic
CH4, also known as the molecule methane, is nonpolar. The covalent bonds in methane are nonpolar because the sharing of electrons in the bonds are equal. According ...
HF, or hydrogen flouride, is polar. The covalent bonds in the molecule are polar. The covalent bond electrons are displaced and drawn toward the electronegative ...
Iodine has a non-polar covalent bond with 7 electrons with 2 of those electrons equally sharing a atom. This happens when two non-metals share electrons. Iodine ...
About -  Privacy -  Careers -  Ask Blog -  Mobile -  Help -  Feedback  -  Sitemap  © 2014 Ask.com