Why is CH2Cl2 polar and CCl4 is nonpolar?

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Chem_Mod
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Why is CH2Cl2 polar and CCl4 is nonpolar?

Postby Chem_Mod » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:15 pm

Question: I'm getting a little confused with determining whether or not a molecule is polar. I understand that if the electric dipoles cancel each other out, then the molecule is polar but I'm having trouble visualizing this for a tetrahedral molecule. Why is polar but nonpolar?

Chem_Mod
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Re: Why is CH2Cl2 polar and CCl4 is nonpolar?

Postby Chem_Mod » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:16 pm

Answer: In the 4 dipoles cancel each other out making the molecule nonpolar. In , the 2 C-Cl bonds create a dipole towards the Cl since Cl is highly electronegative. This makes the molecule negative towards the Cl and away from the 2 H. It is a similar idea to how water is polar with the negative towards the oxygen.

Radha Patel 1D
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Re: Why is CH2Cl2 polar and CCl4 is nonpolar?

Postby Radha Patel 1D » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:47 pm

How come C-Cl bonds are drawn next to each other? How come we can't put the H atoms across from each other and the Cl bonds across from each other to make the molecule nonpolar?

Curtis Tam 1J
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Re: Why is CH2Cl2 polar and CCl4 is nonpolar?

Postby Curtis Tam 1J » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:29 pm

The shape for ch2cl2 is tetrahedral. The lewis structure drawing is really misleading because it makes you think that the chlorine atoms are directly opposite from each other on a 1D surface. In reality though, the angles are 109.5 degrees so wherever you place the chlorine atoms, they will always be next to each other at 109.5 degrees. Therefore, you get dipole moments going towards chlorine in two different directions that do not cancel. Hope this clears things up!


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