XeF2 is either polar or nonpolar, depending on the answer.

As the name suggests, it is composed of the following elements: xenon difluoride (XeF2). As a fluorinating agent, it is regarded to be quite powerful. Additionally, it is a very long-lasting Xenon compound. Similar to other inorganic covalent compounds, this one is susceptible to moisture. XeF2’s polarity is a subject of some debate among students. In this post, we’ll go through its qualities and applications in great detail.

Are XeF2 Polar or Non-Positive Nonpolarity of XeF2 is due to its linear geometry, which contains fluorine atoms symmetrically on both sides of the central xenon atom. Due to their differing electron densities, the electronegativity values of F and Xe are different, which makes the Xe-F2 bond non-polar, yet the electron densities of both bonds balance each other out.

White solid Xenon difluoride is found at ambient temperature. In terms of Xenon family stability, it is one of the most stable compounds.

When exposed to vapours or light, it decomposes, but if properly stored, it remains stable.

Around 1962, it was discovered.

Parallel XeF2 units are linked together in the crystal structure of the XeF2 substance.

Xenon difluoride’s molecular mass is determined as follows:

When you multiply the molecular weight of Xe and F together, you get 169.29 gmol1.

XeF2 has 2 Fluorine atoms and 1 Xenon atom in terms of chemical makeup.

Fluorine atoms surround the Xenon atom and form covalent bonds with it on both sides.

When a xenon-fluorine mixture is heated in a nickel vessel, XeF2 is produced. between 2 and 4, at a temperature of 400 degrees Celsius.

(heated)—–Xe + F2 > XeF2

In a covalent bond, the electrons of both atoms are shared in order to complete the octet of the other atom. Similar to the XeF2 molecule, the Xe and F atoms share one of the other’s atoms in order to produce a stable molecule.

It is the atom’s ability to draw electrons from the bound pair toward it that determines its electronegativity. The bound pair electron is more strongly attracted to the more electronegative atom.

Xenon has an electronegativity of 2.6, while fluorine’s is 3.98. As a result, fluorine has a greater negative charge than xenon.

Due to the fact that it attracts the electron pair somewhat closer to itself, fluorine atoms have a partial negative charge on them.

So, the xenon atom has a partial positive charge on it, as a result

The non-zero dipole moment originating from the xenon to fluorine atom (Xe->F) is ensured by the polarity of the Xe-F bond.

However, the dipoles of the two Xe-F bonds cancel each other out due to the symmetrical linear structure, resulting in a nonpolar XeF2 molecule.

Nonpolar and Polar molecules are two types of atoms.

The covalent bond forces can hold polar or nonpolar molecules depending on several parameters, such as the molecule’s electronegativity, dipole moment, and the molecule’s geometric structure.

Molecules with non-zero dipole moments are referred to as polar molecules.

The atoms in these compounds have varying amounts of charge. It denotes an uneven distribution of charge among atoms.

If the electronegativity of two atoms differs, the bond created is polar.

OF2 and CO are two examples of molecules that fall into this category. The explanation behind CO’s polarity can be investigated.

Null dipole moment molecules are known as nonpolar molecules. The atoms of these molecules are all charged equally.

There is no polarity in nonpolar compounds. When both atoms in a covalent connection have identical electronegativity, the bond is said to be nonpolar.

Hexane, SO3, O2, and other elements are examples of this type of molecule. You can find out why Cl2 is not polarised.

XeF2 is a nonpolar compound for a reason.

There are two fluorine atoms in the Xenon difluoride, and only one xenon atom in the mixture. Covalent connections are formed between Xe and F atoms.

Fluorine receives a partial negative charge due to its higher electronegativeity, which draws the bound electron pair closer to it.

Xenon atoms get a partial positive charge, on the other hand.

The molecule of XeF2 provides a non-zero dipole moment arising in the direction of fluorine due to the difference in electronegativity between the fluorine and xenon atoms.

Molecular polarity is measured by the dipole moment.

The net dipole moment of the molecule is 0 since both Xe-F atoms have the same dipole moment, but in the opposite direction.

XeF2’s dipole moment is therefore 0 D.

The XeF2 molecule’s geometrical structure is shown in the graphic below.

A molecule’s polarity is affected by a variety of factors.

Electrnegativity: This refers to an atom’s ability to draw electrons from the bonded pair to its side. The bound electrons are drawn significantly more to the side of the more electronegative atom.

An increase in polarity occurs when the electronegativity of two covalent bonds is different.

Electronegativity differences between the atoms in a molecule are closely related to the molecule’s polarity.

A molecule’s shape is a significant factor in determining whether or not it is polar.

The symmetrically shaped molecules are nonpolar, but the asymmetrically shaped ones are polar.

The dipole moment is used to determine the polarity of a molecule. D stands for it. Debye is the name of this SI unit.

The nonpolar molecules have no dipole moment.

One of the characteristics of a vector quantity is that it can have both magnitude and direction.

D is the product of Q and R

XeF2’s physical properties

The fluorinating power of xenon difluoride is widely acknowledged.

White crystalline crystals of this material can be found in abundance.

When it is exposed to light and vapours, it decomposes. However, it is one of the most stable xenon compounds when properly maintained.

This material weighs 4.32 grammes per cubic centimetre.

Xenon difluoride has a molecular mass of 169.29 g/mol.

If you’re looking for a thermometer, the melting point is 128.6 degrees Celsius, or 263.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water has no effect on this chemical.

XeF2’s Potential Applications

As a fluorinating agent, it is frequently used to fluorinate the hetero element in the organometallic complex.

Based on the oxidation to periodate of iodine, it can be used to detect and measure very minute levels.

As an antiseptic, it can be used to kill microorganisms.


One xenon atom is sandwiched between two fluorine atoms on either side of the molecule, forming a xenon difluoride.

The electronegativity of Xenon and fluorine atoms is different because of the polarity and dipole in the Xe-F bond.

XeF2 is a nonpolar molecule because the dipoles cancel one other out because the molecule is symmetric (linear).

XeF2 is a nonpolar molecule as a result of these properties.

XeF2’s non-polarity can be discussed in the comments section below, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can, and thank you for your patience.

Read more: Is NOCl 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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