Does SO2 have a dipole moment?


Quick Answer

SO2 has a dipole moment measured at 1.62 debye. This moment occurs due to the uneven distribution of positive and negative charges between the sulfur atom and the two oxygen atoms in the digonal-shaped sulfur dioxide molecule.

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Full Answer

The dipole moment of a molecule, such as sulfur dioxide, is related to the geometry of the molecule. Sulfur dioxide is a bent molecule. The angle between the bonds for the oxygen atoms is about 119 degrees, while the bonds connecting the sulfur atom to the one oxygen atom are about 143.1 picometers. SO2 has a dihedral molecular shape. It has two resonance structures.

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