Is XeF4 a Polar or Nonpolar Molecule?


Quick Answer

The molecule XeF4, known as xenon tetrafluoride, is nonpolar. The molecular structure of xenon tetrafluoride is square planar, with six uniformly placed sp3d2 orbitals forming 90-degree angles.

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Full Answer

In chemistry, polarity is defined as a physical property of matter relating to the unequal dispersion of partial charges between intermolecular atoms. A molecule is said to be polar when it has a dipole moment, creating partial positive and negative charges and forming unsymmetrical bonds. Meanwhile, a nonpolar molecule has a symmetrical molecular shape that neutralizes the partial opposite charges. In xenon tetrafluoride, the four fluorine atoms are bonded to the central xenon atom in such a way that a symmetrical square planar geometry is formed, making it nonpolar.

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