Q:

Is beryllium chloride (BeCl2) polar or nonpolar?

A:

Quick Answer

Beryllium chloride is a nonpolar molecule. The shape of BeCl2 is linear, with the central beryllium bonded on either side to a chlorine atom. The electronegativities of the chlorine atoms therefore cancel, leaving a nonpolar molecule.

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Full Answer

Beryllium chloride is an example of an electron-deficient molecule because the beryllium atom only shares a total of four electrons, whereas atoms in most covalent molecules share eight. Normally, atoms such as beryllium located in the first or second groups on the periodic table form ionic bonds, which allows them to reach a noble gas configuration without sharing electrons. However, beryllium is significantly more electronegative than most atoms in these groups, which is why it forms covalent bonds.

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