# Is CHF3 Polar or Nonpolar? (And Why?)

CHF3 is a POLAR molecule.

But why?

And how can you say that CHF3 is a polar molecule?

Want to know the reason?
Let’s dive into it!

CHF3 is a POLAR molecule because the C-F bonds present in the molecule are polar, which causes the partial positive (ẟ+) and partial negative (ẟ-) charge to appear on the molecule. These ẟ+ and ẟ- charges are responsible to make the entire CHF3 molecule polar.

Let me explain this in detail with the help of CHF3 lewis structure and its 3D geometry.

## Why is CHF3 a Polar molecule? (Explained in 2 Steps)

CHF3 is a polar molecule because it has poles of partial positive charge (ẟ+) and partial negative charge (ẟ-) on it.

Let me explain this to you in 2 steps!

### Step #1: Draw the lewis structure

Here is a skeleton of CHF3 lewis structure and it contains one C-H bond and three C-F bonds.

(Note: If you want to know the steps of drawing the CHF3 lewis dot structure, then visit this article: CHF3 lewis structure, Or you can also watch this short 2 minute video).

So from the above diagram we have come to know that the CHF3 molecule has one C-H bond and three C-F bonds.

Now in the next step we have to check whether the C-H bond and C-F bonds are polar or nonpolar.

And we also have to check the molecular geometry of CHF3.

### Step #2: Check the bond polarity and molecular geometry

The chemical bonds can be either nonpolar, polar or ionic depending on the difference of the electronegativity values (ΔEN) between the two atoms.

Have a look at the above image.

• If the electronegativity difference (ΔEN) is less than 0.4, then the bond is nonpolar covalent bond.
• If the electronegativity difference (ΔEN) is between 0.4 to 1.7, then the bond is polar covalent bond.
• If the electronegativity difference (ΔEN) is greater than 1.7, then the bond is an ionic bond. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Now let’s come to the example of CHF3 molecule. It has one C-H bond and three C-F bonds.

You can see the electronegativity values of Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H) and Fluorine (F) atoms from the periodic table given below.

From the above image;

• Electronegativity of Carbon (C) = 2.55 [5]
• Electronegativity of Hydrogen (H) = 2.2 [6]
• Electronegativity of Fluorine (F) = 3.98 [7]

Now let’s see the polarity of each bond.

For C-H bond;
The electronegativity difference (ΔEN) = 2.55 – 2.2 = 0.35
This value is less than 0.4, which indicates that the bond between Carbon (C) and Hydrogen (H) is nonpolar.
Hence, each C-H bond is a nonpolar covalent bond.

For C-F bond;
The electronegativity difference (ΔEN) = 3.98 – 2.55 = 1.43
This value lies between 0.4 to 1.7, which indicates that the bond between Carbon (C) and Fluorine (F) is polar.
Hence, the C-F bond is a polar covalent bond.

You can see in the above image that because of large electronegativity difference of Carbon and Fluorine atom, the partial positive charge (ẟ+) appears on the Carbon atom (C) and partial negative charge (ẟ-) appears on the Fluorine atoms (F).

From this, you can easily get the idea that the CHF3 molecule is a polar molecule.

But let’s also see its 3D molecular geometry for better understanding.

Have a look at this 3D structure of CHF3. The more electronegative fluorine atom (F) has a tendency to pull the shared electron pair towards itself, which results in partial positive charge on carbon atom (C) and partial negative charge on fluorine atoms (F).

Because of this, there are positive and negative poles of charges on the overall molecule of CHF3.

Hence, the CHF3 molecule is a polar molecule.

I hope you have understood the reason behind the polar nature of CHF3 molecule.

See the polarity of other molecules to make your concepts clear:
Is SeF4 Polar or Nonpolar?
Is CH2Br2 Polar or Nonpolar?
Is Ammonium ion (NH4+) Polar or Nonpolar?
Is CH3NH2 Polar or Nonpolar?
Is SO3 2- Polar or Nonpolar?

Author
##### Jay Rana

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.