Is NF3 a polar or a nonpolar protein?

The chemical compound nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) has the formula NF3. It’s a chemical compound that’s made up of inorganic elements. At room temperature, it is a colorless gas with a musty odor. It is naturally non-flammable. Many students may be unsure if NF3 is polar or non-polar. We shall explore this in this essay, as well as its qualities and uses.

Is NF3 Polar or Nonpolar, then? The existence of a lone pair on the nitrogen atom generates a deformed shape in the NF3 molecule, and the difference in electronegativity between fluorine(3.98) and nitrogen(3.04) causes polarity in N-F bonds, resulting in a non zero dipole moment of the entire molecule.

At ordinary settings of temperature and pressure, nitrogen trifluoride exists as a colorless gas with a musty odor.

Otto Ruff, a chemist, was the first to synthesis it in 1903 by electrolysis of a molten combination of hydrogen fluoride and ammonium fluoride.

It is less reactive than other nitrogen halides such as nitrogen trichloride, nitrogen tribromide, and so on.

It is commercially available in pressurized cylinders and is produced immediately by reacting nitrogen with fluorine.

The gas nitrogen trifluoride is regarded as a potent greenhouse gas (causing global warming).

One nitrogen atom and three fluorine atoms make up the molecule of nitrogen trifluoride. The central nitrogen atom is surrounded by three fluorine atoms.

NF3 has a total of 8 valence electrons in its molecule. In its outermost shell, the nitrogen atom has 5 electrons and needs 3 more to complete its octet.

Fluorine, on the other hand, has seven valence electrons in its outermost shell and only needs one more electron to complete its octet.

In order to stabilise, all three fluorine atoms share one electron from the nitrogen atom, leaving one lone pair on the nitrogen atom.

The nitrogen trifluoride molecule has a trigonal pyramidal structure, comparable to the ammonia molecule (NH3).

Nitrogen has an electronegativity of 3.04 and fluorine has an electronegativity of 3.98. The N-F bond ensures polarity in it because of this difference.

Because the fluorine atom is more electronegative, it attracts the bonded electron pair slightly more and gains a partial negative charge.

Nitrogen receives a partial positive charge in exchange.

As a result, the dipole moment across all three N-F bonds rises towards the fluorine atom in a downward direction. And one of the lone pair’s dipoles points upwards towards the lone pair.

The entire molecule’s net dipole moment turns out to be 0.24 D.

What Is the Difference Between Polar and Nonpolar Molecules?

Ionic, covalent, metallic, and hydrogen bonds are among the interatomic forces that hold molecules together.

Among all the bonds, covalent and ionic bonds are the most powerful.

Polar Molecules: Polar molecules are those that have a dipole moment greater than zero. The atoms in these compounds have an uneven charge distribution.

When the electronegativity of two atoms differs, the covalent bond formed between them is said to be polar.

This is because the more electronegative an atom is, the more it attracts the bound electron pair to its side and accumulates partial negative charge, whilst the other atom gains partial positive charge.

OF2, NH3, CO, and other similar compounds are a few examples. You can learn about the cause for NH3’s polarity.

Nonpolar Molecules: Nonpolar molecules are those that have no dipole moment. Because the atoms in these molecules have an equal charge distribution, there is no polarity in them.

If the electronegativity of both atoms is the same, the two covalently connected atoms form a nonpolar bond.

PCl5, SO3, Cl2, and other similar compounds are a few examples. You can look into the reason behind SO3’s non-polarity.

Why is NF3 classified as a polar molecule?

Nitrogen trifluoride is made up of one nitrogen molecule and three fluorine molecules with different electronegativity.

To stabilise, the three fluorine atoms establish covalent connections with the nitrogen atom by sharing one electron.

One lone pair remains on the nitrogen atom, causing repulsion between the lone pair and the bond pairs, resulting in the NF3 molecule’s bent form (trigonal pyramidal).

As a result of the presence of a lone pair, three dipoles across the N-F bond originate in the downhill direction and one dipole originates in the upward direction.

The entire molecule’s net dipole moment comes out to be 0.24 D.

The polarity of a molecule is measured by its dipole moment.

The molecule’s shape is similar to that of ammonia.

Factors that influence a molecule’s polarity

Electronegativity: An atom’s electronegativity is its ability to attract a bound electron pair to its side.

When the electronegativity of two atoms differs in a molecule, there is polarity in that link.

The difference in electronegativity of atoms is directly proportional to the polarity of a molecule.

Dipole Moment: A molecule’s polarity is measured by its dipole moment. The dipole of a molecule has a direct relationship with its polarity.

It’s calculated by multiplying the charge on atoms by the distance between them.

Q * R = D

The geometrical shape of a molecule is a key feature in determining whether or not a substance is polar.

In most cases, symmetrically formed molecules are nonpolar. Asymmetrically structured molecules, on the other hand, are more likely to be polar.

The geometrical form of the nitrogen trifluoride molecule is shown below.


Hybridization of the NF3 gene

The concept of mixing two electron orbitals at the same energy level to generate a new type of orbital is known as molecule hybridization.

Quantum mechanics is used to explain the intermixing of orbitals.

As previously stated, the molecule of NF3 has a deformed pyramidal shape and so is sp3 hybridised.

Because it only has three atoms linked to it, many people mistake it for sp2. However, it should be noted that NF3 has one lone pair on the nitrogen atom, resulting in sp3 hybridization.

You should read the article on NF3 Lewis structure, hybridization, and molecular geometry for more information.

NF3 Characteristics

At ordinary temperatures and pressures, it exists as a colourless gas with a musty odour.

The density of this gas is 3.003 kg/m3 at a temperature of 15° C and a pressure of 1 atm.

The NF3 molecule has a molecular mass of 71.00 g/mol.

It has a melting point of 207.15 degrees Celsius (340.87 degrees Fahrenheit) and a billing point of 129.06 degrees Celsius (200.31 degrees Fahrenheit).

It is a potent greenhouse gas, meaning it contributes to global warming.

NF3’s Applications

It’s employed in a number of industrial operations.

This material is commonly utilised in silicon wafer plasma etching.

PECVD chambers are cleaned with a nitrogen fluoride material.

Deuterium fluoride and hydrogen fluoride lasers both employ this.


The electronegativity of the three fluorine and one nitrogen atoms in nitrogen trifluoride varies. The presence of a lone pair on the nitrogen atom gives this molecule a trigonal pyramidal shape.

Because fluorine is more electronegative, it pulls the bonded electron pairs to its side and gains a partial negative charge, increasing the polarity of the molecule.

As a result, the NF3 molecule has a dipole moment of 0.24 D, making it a polar molecule.

Guys, feel free to ask any questions you have about NF3’s polarity in the comments section. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Read more: Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity of ClO Lewis Structure

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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