Is PF5 Polar or Nonpolar?


Quick Answer

Phosphorus pentafluoride, which is abbreviated as PF5, is a nonpolar molecule. The electronegativities of the five fluorine-phosphorus bonds cancel each other out, creating a nonpolar molecule.

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Full Answer

PF5 has a trigonal bipyramidal configuration, consisting of a central phosphorus atom surrounded by five fluorine atoms. To visualize this structure, start with a trigonal planar configuration of three fluorine atoms bonded to the phosphorus. Above and below the plane (at the "top" and "bottom" of the molecule) are two more fluorines. The electronegativities of the three planar fluorines cancel each other out, as do the electronegativities of the fluorines above and below the plane. Therefore there is no net polarity, and PF5 is a nonpolar molecule.

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