MO Diagram, OF2 Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity

OF2 or Oxygen Difluoride is a chemical compound produced by the interaction between fluorine and a diluted NaOH solution ( sodium hydroxide ).

The formula for preparing Oxygen Difluoride is:

2F2 + 2NaOH ——> OF2 + 2NaF + H2O

It is a colourless, odourless, gaseous chemical that functions as an oxidant and has a distinct, peculiar odour. Its melting point is 49.3 K and its boiling point is 128.40 K. At room temperature, the gas has a molar mass of 53.996 g/mol and a density of 1.88 g/l.

Despite its usage as a powerful oxidising agent, for instance in rocket fuel propellants, this feature renders the chemical hazardous.

It is reported that OF2 is very caustic to the skin and can explode upon contact with water. Additionally, it can harm the eyes and cardiovascular system.

Let us take a brief yet thorough look within the molecule and explore its chemical bonding characteristics.

OF2 Lewis Structure

Do you aware that numerous conditions cause atoms to assemble and produce a variety of chemical compounds?

When atoms combine to form bonds, a new molecule is formed.

Typically, the electrons in an atom’s outermost shell, also known as valence electrons, are responsible for chemical bonding.

Using electron-dot structures, Lewis Structure is a straightforward and constructive method for sketching a diagrammatic depiction of a molecule.

It provides a two-dimensional representation of the electron arrangement and kind of bond creation without delving into great depth.

Now, we shall discuss the formation of OF2’s Lewis Structure.

Formulation of the OF2 Lewis Structure Diagram

Find the total number of valence electrons in the first step.

First and foremost, the total amount of valence electrons in an OF2 molecule must be determined.

Oxygen is a member of family 16, the chalcogens, and has a valency of six. Fluorine is a member of the halogen family in group 17 and has a valency of 7.

Therefore, the total number of valence electrons is six plus seven times two, or twenty.

Step 2: Determine the central atomic nucleus

Now, we must decode the atom at the centre of this molecule. According to the Pauling Electronegativity chart, oxygen is the least electronegative element between oxygen and fluorine (O).

Oxygen is the core atom in an oxygen difluoride molecule.

Step 3: Sketch the Molecule’s Skeletal Diagram.

To indicate the constituent atoms in Lewis Structure, we utilise atomic symbols like as C for carbon and H for hydrogen, and electron dot notation to represent the valence shell electrons.

Let us examine the below skeletal outline:

These are the atomic symbols:

OF2 atoms

Combining atomic symbols with dot notation:

Step 4: Octet rule

The main group elements of the periodic table (groups 1 to 17) tend to acquire the octet configuration of the noble gas elements in group 18 of the same period. This is referred to as octet fulfilment, since elements strive to get eight electrons in their valence shells.

Carbon, for instance, tends to acquire a Neon configuration.

Hydrogen aspires to attain the helium configuration, resulting in only two electrons in its outer shell.

According to the octet rule, both fluorine atoms have acquired a valency of eight in this instance. Likewise with the centre oxygen atom.

Step 5: Charge Concept Formalization

Before proceeding to certify any sketch as the ideal Lewis Structure for a given molecule or ionic structure, the formal charge values must be examined.

For Oxygen: Formal Charge = 6 – 0.5*4 – 4 = 6 – 2 – 4 = 0.

For each Fluorine atom: Formal Charge = 7 – 0.5*2 – 6 = 7 – 1 -6 = 0.

Since the elements are present with the lowest feasible formal charge values, our Lewis Structure arrangement is optimal.

Let us see:

In this instance, oxygen makes a single connection with each fluorine atom (O-F).

OF2 Molecular Geometry

The 2D Lewis Structure diagram of the Oxygen Difluoride molecule has already been identified.

Now we will decipher the molecule shape in three dimensions. We have determined the sort of bond created and the number of lone or unbonded pairs of valence electrons present in an OF2 molecule using Lewis Structure.

Next, we will apply the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR) Theory to determine the precise molecular geometry and bond angles.

Identically charged electrons produce a cloud of negative charge surrounding the atomic nucleus, resulting in repulsion. VSEPR seeks to diminish or eliminate repulsive forces and balance the stability of any given molecule, in this example OF2.

Consider this VSEPR chart displaying AXN notations:

According to VSEPR theory’s AXnEx notation

A: centre atom ( Oxygen )

X: number of neighbouring atoms, n = 2 ( Fluorine )

E: number of lone electron pairs of the central atom, ‘X = 2’

AX2E2 is the VSEPR nomenclature for the OF2 molecule. According to the preceding graphic, the structure of the molecule is bent.

The angle of the bond is approximately 103 degrees (due to the repulsion of the lone pair).


An orbit is a definite path around the nucleus along which electrons tend to migrate or rotate in chemistry. In contrast, an orbital is defined as the likelihood of an electron’s presence in any given region of space.

The complex shapes of atomic orbitals include spherical, dumbbell, cloverleaf, and doughnut, to mention a few examples. We possess s,p,d, and f orbitals ( AOs ).

In quantum physics, electrons can be explained by their wave functions. When we consider the combination of wave functions of many atomic orbitals, we encounter the hybridization process.

The wave functions of the s and a 2px orbitals, for instance, give rise to sp hybridization, which typically results in a linear geometry.

The process of hybridization in OF2

Let’s examine the ground state electrical configurations of oxygen and fluorine.

O: 1s2 2s2 2p4

F: 1s2 2s2 2p5

After establishing bonds with halogen F and achieving octet configuration, O’s electrical structure resembles the following:

Therefore, there are four hybridised orbitals in the outermost shell of the core oxygen atom: 2s, 2px, 2py, and 2pz.

Steric number = Number of atoms bound to a molecule’s central atom + Number of lone pairs of electrons attached to the central atom

Also, steric number equals 2 plus 2 equals 4.

Therefore, sp3 hybridization exists for the central oxygen atom in an oxygen difluoride molecule ( OF2 ).

Polarity of

Let’s begin by defining what we mean by the highly renowned and ubiquitous term ‘polarity’

Polarity is the physical characteristic of any molecule or chemical compound in which the constituent atomic elements may have either positive or negative charges, or both.

We have viewed the Pauling Electronegativity chart previously. Each element in the major groups of the periodic table has a unique electronegativity value.

When atoms of the same element combine in equal proportions, the charge values cancel and the net dipole is zero; hence, the molecule is non-polar. Typically, linear or symmetrical chemical compounds are nonpolar. (e.g.: H2)

If, however, molecules have uneven partial charge distributions due to a variation in electronegativity or an asymmetrical molecular shape, the net dipole does not cancel or becomes zero, and the molecule is polar.

(e.g.: H3PO4, HCl).

Additionally, you can refer to the polarity of HCl.

Is OF2 a polar molecule?

Let’s take a brief look at the atomic structure of Oxygen Difluoride. It is nearly identical to H2O in that the central O has two lone pairs on top.

3.44 is the electronegativity value of oxygen. And fluorine’s density is 3.98.

Since oxygen atoms are more electropositive than fluorine atoms, oxygen will have a partial positive charge (+), while each F atom would have a partial negative charge (-).

We can therefore conclude that there is a difference in electronegativity and that the net dipole moment is not equal to zero.

Again, OF2’s linear structure is not symmetrical. Due to the lone pairs on the centre oxygen atom, the molecule’s shape is curved and resembles the letter V.

Both the unequal charge distribution and the asymmetry of Oxygen Difluoride have been covered.

The molecule has a polar composition.

You must also read the page provided on the polarity of OF2 for more information.

OF2 Molecular Orbital (MO) Diagram

Valence Bond Theory is essential for explaining chemical bonding inside a molecule’s structure, although it has a number of limitations or disadvantages.

The Molecular Orbital Theory or MOT is now presented.

In MOT, the notion of molecular orbitals (MOs) is considered, which are orbitals of the molecule as a whole and not just those of its constituent atoms.

It assumes that electrons are delocalized, resulting in bonding and antibonding orbital interactions.

Diagrams of Molecular Orbitals are used to illustrate the relative energy levels of the AOs and the resulting MOs.

The orbital with the lower energy is the bonding orbital, whereas the orbital with the greater energy is the anti-bonding orbital.

The diagram below illustrates the individual MO diagrams of Oxygen and Fluorine, the atoms that make up an OF2 molecule.


This article describes the type of chemical bonding that occurs within an OF2 molecule. Oxygen Difluoride is an intriguing molecule that was found by accident and has since been utilised for a variety of purposes, despite being naturally hazardous.

Lewis Structure, VSEPR theory to establish molecular geometry, Hybridization, Polar nature, and a brief discussion on the oxygen difluoride MO diagram have been covered.

Happy learning!

Read more: Is BCl3 Polar or Nonpolar?

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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