COF2 Polar or Nonpolar? (Detail Explanation)

Is COF2 Polar or Nonpolar

COF2, which is called carbonyl fluoride, is a chemical compound found in a gaseous state. It is a colorless and highly toxic gas. COF2 has an irritating pungent odor. The geometry of this compound is trigonal planar.

It is symmetrical with electronegativity difference due to oxygen and two fluorine in the compound, which takes us back to the question.

Is COF2 Polar or nonpolar? Carbonyl Fluoride (COF2) is a polar molecule because of the electronegativity difference between oxygen and fluorine. Fluorine is the most electronegative element in the periodic table. Hence, it gains a slight negative charge as it attracts electrons more than that of oxygen, creating a slight positive charge on the carbon atom.

What are Polar and Nonpolar Molecules?

Polar Molecules

These molecules have the separation of electric charges creating charge gradients within the molecule. Polarity originates due to electronegativity differences within the molecule.

More electronegative elements attract electrons more towards themselves, creating differences in charge densities.

Hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, water, ethanol, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide are some examples of polar molecules.

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Nonpolar Molecules

These molecules do not have any separation of charges and have no charge gradients within the molecule.

Different elements of different electronegativity may be present in the molecule, but they cancel each other’s effect, creating no dipole.

Dihydrogen, oxygen gas, nitrogen gas, carbon dioxide gas, chlorine gas are examples of non-polar molecules.

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What Makes COF2 a Polar Molecule?

COF2 is a polar compound because of its geometry and distribution of charges.

Suppose we draw the lewis structure of COF2. In that case, we will find that the attraction of electrons of Carbon by fluorine is more than that of oxygen.

Fluorine and oxygen both are electronegative elements. However, fluorine is the most electronegative pulls electrons more towards itself, creating a disbalance in charge distribution.

This asymmetrical distribution of charges creates a slight negative charge on fluorine. Oxygen can not nullify the effect of fluorine and hence creates the dipole making the molecule polar.

COF2 Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity - Techiescientist

You must also check out the article on COF2 lewis structure, geometry, hybridization.

What Elements are Involved in COF2?

1. Carbon: It is the head element of group 14, which is the central atom of COF2. The electronegativity of carbon is 2.55. Carbon belongs to P block elements and is nonmetallic. It gains a slight positive charge in COF2.

• Atomic Number: 6

• Valency: 4

• Oxidation states: +4

2. Oxygen: It is the head element of group 16. The electronegativity of oxygen is 3.44. Oxygen also belongs to the P block of the periodic table and is nonmetallic.

• Atomic Number: 8

• Valency:2

• Oxidation states: -2(general case)

3. Fluorine: It is the head element of group 17. Fluorine is the most electronegative element. The electronegativity of fluorine is 3.98. Fluorine also belongs to the P block and is a halide and non-metal. It gains a slight negative charge in COF2.

• Atomic Number: 9

• Valency: 1

• Oxidation states: -1

Is COF2 Electrovalent or Covalent?

COF2 is a covalent compound. Covalent compounds are those where constituent elements share their electrons to complete their octet.

These compounds do not give free ions in water as there is no ion formation due to sharing of electrons.

While in electrovalent compounds, there is no sharing of electrons. Electrons are completely transferred from electropositive to an electronegative atom binding the molecule by a strong, attractive force.

In the case of COBr2, positive and negative ions are formed, which are called cation and anion, respectively.

COF2 Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity - Techiescientist

Physical Properties of COF2?

• It appears as a colorless gas with a pungent odor

• Its molar mass is 66.01g/mol

• Its density is 2.698g/L (gas) or 1.139g/cm³ (liquid)

• The melting point of carbonyl fluoride is –111.26 °C (–168.27 °F; 188.58 K)

• Its calculated boiling point is −84.57 °C (−120.23 °F; 188.58 K)

• The Exerted Vapor pressure of carbonyl fluoride at 20 °C is 55.4 atm.

• The molecular shape of COF2 is C2v.

• Its dipole moment is 0.95D.

Chemical Properties of COF2?

• Carbonyl fluoride is an acidic fluoride.

• It reacts with water, bases, strong oxidizing agents, and alcohols.

• Increasing the temperature by heating COF2 can decompose carbon monoxide gas and fluorine.

• Carbonyl fluoride can burn in the air but doesn’t readily ignite.

• We can use dry chemicals, CO2, the excess quantity of water, or foam extinguishers to stop the burning of COF2.

• Being acidic, it can form salts when reacting with different bases.

• Carbonyl fluoride reacts vigorously with water to form hydrogen fluoride gas.


Is COF2 Soluble In Water?

As polar solvents dissolve polar compounds, COF2 is soluble in water as water is also a polar compound.

Still, it instantly hydrolyses as it reacts vigorously with water. It is a hygroscopic compound that absorbs moisture. It can also react with steam to form toxic hydrogen fluoride gas.

Which Intermolecular Force is Found in COF2?

As carbonyl fluoride is a polar compound, all the molecules will have a dipole. Due to a slight positive and negative charge on the molecules, there is a force of attraction among them.

This force of attraction between negative and positive charges binds the molecules together. This type of interaction is called Dipole-Dipole interaction, a Van Der Waals force type.

Why does COF2 have Low Melting and Boiling point?

The molecules in this compound are bound together by an attractive force: the dipole-dipole interaction.

There is no complete transfer of electrons in the covalent compounds. Also, there is no complete net charge on the compound’s constituent elements, only a slight charge.

It makes the Van Der Waals force a weak attractive force. Hence it becomes easy to overcome these forces. If we overcome the forces, we are close to changing the state of the compound.

The melting and boiling points of COF2 are low because of which we find this compound in the gaseous state.

Why Does COF2 Exist as a Gas?

The state of a compound depends upon the attractive or repulsive intermolecular interaction among its molecules. This interaction is due to Van Der Waals’s force, which also decides the state of the compound.

Van der Waals force depends highly on the surface area or size of the molecules.

If the size is large, the number of electrons accommodated in the atom will also be great. If the number of electrons is high and the surface area is also large, the electrons will spread.

When they come under the influence of more electronegative elements, they will experience a force, deform more, and be attracted more to the element. It strengthens the Van Der Waals force.

But if the size of the molecule is small, the strength of Van Der Waals force will also decrease, and so is the case with COF2.

So the attraction is not that great among the molecules, and the molecules go far from each other, making the compound gaseous in the state. It is the reason why carbonyl fluoride exists as a gas.

Dipole Moment of COF2?

COF2 has a lower dipole moment, which is 0.95 D, because of its geometry. There are two highly electronegative elements in this compound: oxygen and fluorine.

Oxygen and fluorine are the elements that attract electrons towards themselves. Still, fluorine has more affinity for electrons which puts a slight negative charge on it.

Fluorine, being the most electronegative element, makes the compound polar. Still, due to the presence of oxygen, much of fluorine’s effect is nullified. The dipole moment of carbonyl fluoride is less.

COF2 Lewis Structure, Molecular Geometry, Hybridization, and Polarity - Techiescientist


So now we know in detail about the compound carbonyl fluoride and its polarity. We got the answer to whether COF2 is a polar compound or a nonpolar compound. We got to know about the reason behind the polarity of this organic compound. We also learned about polar and non-polar molecules. We saw the lewis structure and geometry of the compound, which proves that COF2 is polar.

We got a brief description of the elements present in this compound. We saw whether COF2 is an ionic compound or a covalent compound with the physical and chemical properties of the compound.

We also learned how COF2 reacts with water and which intermolecular force is present in it. Now we know the reason behind the low melting and boiling points and why it exists as a gas. And finally, we looked into the reason behind the less dipole moment of COF2. We hope you have all your doubts clear!

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