Is OF2 Polar or Nonpolar?

OF2 is the chemical formula for oxygen difluoride, a chemical compound. It was initially reported in 1929. According to the VSEPR theory, the molecule’s form is bent like that of a water molecule, but its characteristics are distinct. Many students may have questions about whether or not the OF2 molecule is polar. In this post, I will provide an answer to this question and discuss its surrounding topics.

Consequently, is OF2 polar or nonpolar? OF2 (Oxygen difluoride) is polar due to its bent geometrical structure and the difference in electronegativity between Oxygen and Fluorine atoms. Consequently, the dipole moment of the molecule is nonzero, rendering OF2 a polar molecule.

The alternative term for oxygen difluoride is hypofluorous anhydride. It seems to be a colourless gas at normal temperature. Condensation transforms the substance into a pale yellow liquid.

It is an odoriferous material. The melting point of oxygen difluoride (OF2) is approximately 223.8 degrees Celsius or 370.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

OF2 is composed of 1 Oxygen atom and 2 Fluorine atoms, according to its chemical composition.

Fluorine has seven electrons in its outermost shell, while oxygen has just six. The fluorine atom requires one electron and the oxygen atom need two electrons for stability, or to complete their octets.

The two fluorine atoms thereby create a single covalent connection with an oxygen atom. And the molecules become stable, leaving two lone pairs on the oxygen atom and three on each fluorine atom.

The molecule of OF2 has a molar mass of 53.9962 grammes per mole.

It is determined as

OF2 mol mass = 1 * 16 (mol mass of O) plus 2 * 19 (mol mass of F)

According to the VSEPR hypothesis, the repulsion between lone pairs produces form distortion. Similarly, the OF2 molecule has a curved shape due to the repulsion between fluorine and oxygen lone pairs and bound pairs.

And the factor ‘electronegativity’ is essential for determining a molecule’s polarity.

Fluorine in the OF2 molecule is more electronegative than oxygen. Fluorine has an electronegativity of 3.98, while oxygen’s is 3.44.

The more electronegative atom draws the pair of linked electrons toward itself and acquires a partial negative charge.

Polar and nonpolar molecules are defined.

The molecular bonds hold the molecules together. These bindings could be metallic, covalent, ionic, or hydrogen.

Among these forces, ionic and covalent bonds are the strongest and most prevalent in chemical substances.

A covalent bond may be polar or nonpolar, depending on the factors detailed in greater depth below.

Polar molecules are those in which the molecule’s net dipole moment is non-zero.

If the electronegativity of both atoms is unequal, the covalent bond formed between them is polar.

These atoms share the bound pair of electrons unequally. The atom with the greater electronegativeness acquires a partial negative charge, whereas the other acquires a partial positive charge.

Such compounds include SO2, OF2, and others. You can investigate the explanation behind SO2’s polarity.

Nonpolar molecules are those with a zero net dipole moment. Atoms that form a nonpolar covalent bond have identical electronegativity values.

These atoms share the bound electrons equally, such that each atom has the same charge. Examples of such molecules include CO2 and H2.

The primary determinants of a molecule’s polarity are electronegativity, geometrical form, and dipole moment.

It is conceivable for nonpolar molecules to include polar bonds. As a result of symmetrical geometry, polarity is cancelled by itself.

Why is the OF2 molecule polar?

The molecule of OF2 is polar due to its bent structure and the difference in electronegativity between oxygen and fluorine.

Oxygen difluoride has a similar geometry to that of water, namely a V-shaped, bent structure.

The difference in electronegativity between oxygen and fluorine atoms in the OF2 molecule is approximately 0.54 units.

Being more electronegative, the fluorine atom draws the bonded pair of electrons and obtains a partial negative charge, whereas the oxygen atom gains a partial positive charge.

Consequently, the O-F bonds ensure that the dipole moment is directed in the same direction, and the net dipole moment of the entire molecule is also nonzero.

There are two lone pairs on the oxygen atom and three on each fluorine atom. According to the VSEPR hypothesis, the distortion of form is caused by the repulsion between lone pairs and bond pairs.

The shape of OF2 is thereby modified to a bent shape.

A molecule’s asymmetric geometrical form renders it polar since the dipoles do not cancel one other out in these structured molecules. They gave resulting dipole as nonzero.

Because of these features, the OF2 molecule is polar.

Variables influencing the polarity of a molecule

Electronegativity: Electronegativity refers to the ability of an atom to attract a pair of bound electrons. More electronegative atoms are more attractive to bound electron pairs.

The difference in electronegativity between two atoms that form a covalent link demonstrates polarity in their relationship.

Polarity is proportional to the difference in electronegativity between the atoms.

If a molecule has a symmetrical shape, it has a nonpolar nature for the following reasons: symmetry is a prerequisite for nonpolarity.

Atoms with the same electronegativity in symmetrically formed molecules have an equal charge distribution and are nonpolar in nature.

If a symmetrical molecule contains dipoles, then these dipoles cancel one other out.

Consequently, symmetrically formed molecules are nonpolar.

Dipole moment: A molecule’s polarity is measured by its dipole moment. Polarity and dipole moment of a molecule are inversely related.

It is represented by D.

In terms of mathematics, it is the product of their charge and distance apart.

D= Q*R

Molecular structure of OF2

The molecular structure of a molecule is determined by its electrical configuration.

In the molecule of OF2, there are 20 valence electrons, of which 4 participate in covalent bonds and the others exist as lone pairs on the oxygen and fluorine atoms.

There are two lone pairs on the Oxygen atom and three on each of the Fluorine atoms.

According to the VSEPR hypothesis, due to the repulsion between lone pair and bond pairs, the structure of the OF2 molecule gets twisted, much like the shape of the water molecule (H2O).

The lone pairs exert force on the linked pair electrons, causing the bonds to shift downward and form the V-shaped molecule OF2.

103 degrees is the bond angle in the OF2 molecule.

The geometric structure of the OF2 molecule is shown below.

OF2’s Lewis structure

Lewis structure of a molecule displays the bonding between atoms and lone pairs on atoms involved in the molecule.

Covalent compounds and coordination compounds can both have Lewis structures.

Also referred to as an electron dot diagram.

For determining the lewis structure of OF2, the following data are required:

2 lone pairs surrounding the centre atom (Oxygen)

Three lone pairs around other atoms (Fluorine)

Molecular geometry of the molecule: curved form

On the basis of these data, the Lewis structure can be drawn.

Qualities of OF2

At normal temperature, oxygen difluoride exists as an odourless, colourless gas.

Condensation transforms it into a pale yellow liquid.

This chemical has a melting point of 223.8 °C or 370.8 °F. And the boiling point is approximately 228.55 °F or 144.75 °C.

At 58.0 degrees Celsius, the vapour pressure of OF2 is 48.9 atm.

At room temperature, the density of OF2 in the gaseous state is 1.88 g/l.

At ambient temperature, the specific gravity of this substance is 1.86.

Utilizations of OF2

Oxygen difluoride is used to oxidise propellants since it is a potent oxidant.

In rocket fuel systems, the oxidation property of OF2 is quite useful.

The fictitious forms of life found in the solar system likewise utilise this as a biochemical solvent.


The oxygen difluoride (OF2) has a curved molecular structure with lone pairs on the atoms of oxygen and fluorine.

According to the VSEPR theory, the repulsion between lone pairs on oxygen and fluorine and bound pairs causes OF2 to assume a V- or bent-shaped configuration.

Due to the fact that fluorine has a greater electronegativity than oxygen, the O-F bond is polar.

This polarity in the O-F bond assures a non-zero dipole, and because to the asymmetric form of OF2, the dipole of the molecules is non-zero, giving the molecule a polar character.

If you guys have any questions. They can be questioned in the comment area. We will contact you as quickly as possible.

Read more: Structure, Molecular Geometry, and Hybridization of NO3

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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