Q:

Is CF4 polar or nonpolar?

A:

Quick Answer

The compound with the chemical formula CF4, carbon tetrafluoride, is nonpolar. Unlike other molecules that are nonpolar because they feature only nonpolar bonds, CF4 has this property despite having four polar bonds in its structure.

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Full Answer

The lack of polarity of CF4 is caused by the geometry of its molecule, which is tetrahedral, or pyramid-shaped. Although the bonds themselves are polar, the four bonds between carbon and fluorine cancel out one another, generating a nonpolar molecule. CH4, or methane, is the same as CF4 in this respect, as are many other molecules made of four halogens surrounding a carbon or silicon atom.

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