Polar or nonpolar is SCl2?

Sulfur dichloride is an organic molecule with the formula SCl2. At typical circumstances of temperature and pressure, it exists as a liquid with a cherry-red colour. Many of you may have a query about whether or not SCl2 is polar. We shall address this question and discuss its qualities and applications in this essay.

Is SCl2 therefore polar or nonpolar? SCl2 (Sulfur dichloride) is polar due to its bent geometrical shape, which is caused by the existence of a lone pair on the sulphur atom. In addition, the difference in electronegativity between sulphur and chlorine atoms causes the S-Cl bonds to be polar, and as a result, the entire molecule becomes polar and has a net dipole moment of 0.54D.

Sulfur dichloride is a cherry-red liquid with an offensive odour. Essentially, it is created through the chlorination of sulphur.

Below is the chemical reaction that occurs when sulphur is chlorinated.

H(Heat enthalpy) = 58.2 kJ/mol for the reaction S8 + 4Cl2 -> 4S2Cl2

Chlorination of the intermediate chemical (S2Cl2).

S2Cl2 + Cl2 ———> The heat enthalpy of 2SCl2 is 40.6 kJ/mol.

The computed molecular mass of the SCl2 compound is 102.97 gmol1.

Molecular mass of SCl2 = 1 * 32 + 2 * 35.4 (Molecular mass of Cl) = 102.97 gmol1.

2 chlorine atoms and 1 sulphur atom make up the Sulfur dichloride molecule, according to its chemical composition.

The core atom is sulphur, which is flanked by two chlorine atoms. Sulfur contains six valence electrons, or six electrons in its outermost shell, whereas chlorine has seven electrons in its outermost shell.

To complete its octet, chlorine atoms require one electron. Therefore, both chlorine atoms form covalent bonds with the sulphur atom, leaving the sulphur atom with two lone pairs.

The two lone pairs found on the sulphur atom repel the bond pairs. According to the VSEPR theory, the electric repulsion causes the molecule’s shape to become curved (V-shaped), similar to that of the water molecule.

The lone pair forces both S-Cl bonds downwards, resulting in a molecule with a curved form.

The molecules that contain lone pairs have a deformed shape due to the electrical repulsion they cause.

Considering the electronegativity of its atoms. Chlorine has an electronegativity of 3.16, while sulfur’s is 2.58.

As a result of this difference in electronegativity, the S-Cl bond is polar in nature.

Electronegativity is the ability of an atom to attract paired electrons to its side.

Consequently, the dipole moment of the S-Cl bond is also nonzero, and due to the V-shaped structure, the dipole moments of both bonds are not cancelled.

The overall dipole moment of the SCl2 molecule is calculated to be 0.54D. Sulfur acquires a partial positive charge, while chlorine acquires a partial negative charge.

Polar and nonpolar molecules are defined.

Interatomic forces like ionic, covalent, metallic, and hydrogen bonds hold the molecules together. These bonds exist in numerous chemical substances.

The strongest of these relationships are covalent and ionic bonds. Depending on a number of criteria listed in the subtopic, covalent bonds may be polar or nonpolar.

Polar Molecules: Molecules whose dipole moment has a nonzero value are polar in nature. Inside of these molecules are two poles (positive and negative).

Because of their differing electronegativity, the atoms in these compounds possess varying proportions of charge.

The more electronegative atom attracts the bound electron pair slightly further to its side and acquires a partly negative charge, whilst the other atom acquires a substantially positive charge.

This generates two poles across a polar molecule. Examples of such compounds include IF5, H2O, and others.

You can investigate the explanation for IF5’s polarity.

Nonpolar Molecule: Molecules with a dipole moment of zero are nonpolar. In such molecules, no poles are produced.

These molecules contain atoms with a homogeneous distribution of charge. If two covalently connected atoms possess the same electronegativity, they create a nonpolar bond.

Examples of such molecules include XeF2 and Hexane. You can investigate the reason behind XeF2’s non-polarity.

Why is the SCl2 molecule polar?

Due to the existence of two lone pairs on the Sulfur atom, the Sulfur dichloride molecule has a twisted form.

According to the VSEPR hypothesis, the lone pair and bond pairs produce repulsion amongst themselves, causing the S-Cl bonds to form in a V-shaped molecule.

In contrast to asymmetric compounds, the dipole moments of S-Cl bonds do not cancel out.

The total dipole moment of the molecule SCl2 is calculated to be 0.54D. A polar molecule is formed as a result of its geometrical structure and difference in electronegativity.

Because the molecule’s asymmetric shape causes the charge to be distributed non-uniformly among its atoms, positive and negative poles are formed across the molecule.

Variables influencing the polarity of a molecule

Electronegativity: The electronegativity of atoms forming a covalent connection is one of the most important criteria for determining whether or not a molecule is polar.

If two atoms composing a molecule differ in their electronegativity, the resulting molecule tends to be polar due to an imbalance in charge distribution.

Consequently, the polarity of a molecule is proportional to the difference in electronegativity between atoms.

The polarity of a molecule can be deduced from its geometrical structure by merely observing its form.

Because of some non-zero dipole value, asymmetrically structured molecules tend to be polar.

In contrast, symmetrically structured molecules are nonpolar because their dipoles are cancelled by each other if they contain a polar bond.

Momentum dipolaire: The polarity of a molecule is measured by its dipole moment. Greater the value of a molecule’s dipole, the greater its polarity.

It is the mathematical product of the charge on the atoms and their distance apart.

D = Q * R

SCl2 Lewis and the Structure of Geometry

A molecule’s lewis structure is also known as its electron dot structure. It determines the number of valence electrons and electrons contributing to the formation of the molecule’s bonds.

If we are to discuss the lewis structure of SCl2, we must consider its valence electrons.

In this case, sulphur is the centre atom and has six electrons in its outermost shell, while chlorine has seven electrons in its outermost shell and requires one electron to complete its octet.

Therefore, the SCl2 molecule contains a total of twenty valence electrons.

The two chlorine atoms establish covalent connections with the sulphur atom, leaving the sulphur atom with two lone pairs.

Due to the repulsion between lone pairs and bond pairs, the S-Cl bonds are subject to a downward pull, and the form of molecules is bent like that of the H2O molecule.

The bond angle of Cl-S-Cl is approximately 103 degrees. And S-bond Cl’s length is 201 pm.

Characteristics of SCl2

It has a red liquid appearance and a pungent stench.

Sulfur dichloride has a melting point of approximately 121.0 °C or 185.8 °F and a boiling temperature of 59 °C or 138 °F.

In water, it undergoes hydrolysis.

The orbitals of the SCl2 molecule are hybridised with sp3 electrons.

This liquid has a density of about 1,621 gcm3.

This chemical has an autoignition temperature of 234 degrees Celsius.

Applications of SCl2

It is used as a chlorinating agent for purposes of chlorination.

It is also employed in the production of pesticides and synthetic rubbers.

It is also used to harden softwoods in the wood industry.


Due to the existence of two lone pairs on the sulphur atom, sulphur dichloride has a curved molecule.

The centre sulphur atom is flanked by two chlorine atoms at an angle of approximately 103 degrees.

Due to the difference in electronegativity between sulphur and chlorine atoms, the S-Cl bond is polar and the entire molecule has a dipole moment of 0.54 D.

The SCl2 molecule is polar due to its asymetrical geometrical shape and uneven electronegativity of atoms.

If you have any questions about the polarity of SCl2, please post them in the comments area. We will respond as quickly as possible.

Read more: Polar or nonpolar is NCl3?

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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