Polar or nonpolar is CH3F?

Fluoromethane is a chemical compound with the formula CH3F. This gas is nontoxic and liquefiable. It is naturally flammable. Many of you may question whether or not CH3F is polar. This article will address this question and its features and applications.

Consequently, is CH3F polar or nonpolar? CH3F is a polar molecule due to the presence of the more electronegative Fluorine atom, which acquires a partial negative charge, while the other atoms get partial positive charges, so rendering the molecule polar. Additionally, the dipole of the CH3F molecule is not zero.

Fluoromethane (CH3F) is often referred to as HFC-41, Halocarbon-41, and Freon 41. At room temperature, it exists in the gaseous state and can be converted to the liquid state under increased pressure.

It is a non-toxic, colourless gas with a pleasant aroma similar to ether. It is derived from methane gas. The hydrogen atom is replaced with a fluorine atom in the methane molecule.

However, this gas is not classified as being harmful to human health.

Fluoromethane has a molecular mass of 34.03 g/mol. It is computed as follows:

Mol mass of Ch3F = 1 x 12 (molecular mass of carbon) + 3 x 1 (molecular mass of hydrogen) + 1 x 18.9 (Mol mass of F)

= 34.03 g/mol

CH3F consists of one atom of fluorine, one atom of carbon, and three atoms of hydrogen, according to its chemical composition.

The centre atom of the molecule is carbon, which is covalently connected to three hydrogen and one fluorine atoms. Carbon’s electronegativity is 2.55, hydrogen’s is 2.22, and fluorine’s is 3.98.

Being more electronegative, the fluorine atom attracts the paired bound electrons more strongly and acquires a partial negative charge.

Carbon and hydrogen get a partial positive charge on the other side. Consequently, two poles are formed within the CH3F molecule, transforming it into a polar molecule.

What makes CH3F Polar?

As previously discussed, the molecule is composed of three hydrogen atoms and one fluorine atom covalently bound to the Carbon atom.

The core atom is carbon, and the CH3F molecule creates a tetrahedral structure.

The electronegativity of fluorine (3.98), which is significantly larger than that of hydrogen and carbon, causes the fluorine atom to slightly draw the bound electron pair to its side.

Fluorine acquires a partial negative charge and becomes the negative pole of the molecule, whereas hydrogen and carbon acquire a partial positive charge and become the positive pole.

The CH3F molecule becomes polar as a result of the significant variations between its individual components.

Polar Versus Nonpolar Molecules

Polar molecules form covalent bonds with one another. Although there are other additional bonded forces, such as ionic bonding, hydrogen bonding, and metallic bonding, etc.

The polarity of the covalent bond depends on the factors listed below.

Polar Molecules: The dipole moment of these molecules is always non-zero. In addition, the atoms within these molecules have an uneven charge distribution.

These molecules have both positive and negative poles.

Two atoms with different electronegativity that are covalently connected tend to create a polar bond.

Examples of polar molecules include HCl, OF2, and H2O. You can investigate the cause of HCl’s polarity.

Nonpolar Molecules: These molecules have a dipole moment of zero at all times. These molecules include atoms with different proportions of charge.

When two atoms share the same electronegativity, the resulting bond is invariably nonpolar.

CO2, Hexane, and SO3 are examples of such molecules. You can investigate the reason behind SO3’s non-polarity.

Checkpoints to determine if a molecule is polar or not

Electronegativity refers to an atom’s ability to attract a pair of bound electrons to its side.

Higher electronegative atoms attract electrons with greater force and acquire relative negative charge, while other atoms acquire relative positive charge.

Polarity of a molecule is proportional to the difference in electronegativity between its constituent atoms.

Similarly, in CH3F, fluorine is more electronegative than carbon and hydrogen, causing it to acquire partial negative charge while the other atoms acquire partial positive charge.

Polarity refers to the poles generated across a molecule.

Dipole Moment: The dipole moment of a molecule is the product of the charges on the atoms and the distance between the centres of the positive and negative charges.

It quantifies the polarity of a molecule. Greater a molecule’s polarity, the greater its polarity.

Additionally, the dipole of a molecule is proportional to its polarity.

The geometrical shape of a molecule is a key factor in determining whether or not it is polar.

Analyzing the numerous polar and nonpolar compounds reveals that nearly all polar molecules have asymmetrical geometric structures, whereas nonpolar molecules have symmetrical shapes.

Below is an illustration of the geometry of the fluoromethane molecule.

Notably, a nonpolar molecule may have polar links, but their polarity is cancelled due to the molecule’s symmetrical form, resulting in a nonpolar molecule overall.

Characteristics of CH3F

It is an odourless, colourless gas that smells similar to ether.

It is naturally flammable.

It has a density of 1.4397 g/L 0.557 g/cm3 at 25 °C in liquid form.

This substance has a melting point of 137.8 °C (216.0 °F) and a boiling point of 78.4 °C (109.1 °F).

This gas has a vapour pressure of 3,3 MPa.

Its molecule has a tetrahedral form.

Applications of CH3F

Fluoromotheane, also known as Halocarbon 41, is used in the production of semiconductors and electronic components.

It is also utilised in biological investigations, as a selective inhibitor of CH4 oxidation by aerobic bacteria, for example.

It is the smallest member of the CFC family and is used to cool food in refrigeration systems.


Fluoromethane (CH3F) is a gas composed of 1 carbon, 3 hydrogen, and 1 fluorine atoms. Because fluorine is more electronegative than carbon and hydrogen, it attracts electrons and acquires a partial negative charge, whereas other atoms get a partial positive charge.

CH3F is polar due to the difference in electronegativity between its atoms.

If you have any questions about this, please leave them in the comment area. We will contact you as quickly as possible.

Read more: Ionic or Covalent is SO2?

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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