Hello friends, you could have plenty of doubts regarding the polarity in part molecules in the chemistry world. Many of us have actually a doubt about the polarity the SO2 (sulfur dioxide). So, I will share my details with friend to clean the doubt concerning the polarity that SO2.

You are watching: Is sulfur dioxide polar or nonpolar

Is SO2 polar or nonpolar? SO2 is polar in nature because of the distinction in electronegativity in between sulfur and also oxygen atoms. The greater the difference in electronegativity much more will be the polarity of the molecule. The bent form of SO2 is because of the repulsion between the unbonded electrons existing on the sulfur and also oxygen atoms. The unsymmetrical shape additionally identifies whether a molecule is polar or not.

Why is SO2 Polar?

In the SO2 molecule, the Sulfur has actually 6 electrons in that is vacant shell and also Oxygen additionally has 6 electrons in its vacant shell. 4 electron of sulfur bond v the 2 pairs of electrons from both oxygen atoms around sulfur.

And after ~ bonding in the SO2 molecule, the unlike charge continues to be on Sulfur and also Oxygen. 2 unbonded electrons remain on Sulfur and 4 electron on both of the Oxygen atoms.

Therefore, unlike charge circulation occurs ~ the bonding the the SO2 molecule. The lone pair existing on Sulfur and lone current on Oxygen atoms causes repulsion in between each other.

The Sulfur is much more electronegative than Oxygen, together a result, the Oxygen-Sulfur bond shares unequal fee distribution, and the bond formed in the is polar.

According come the VSEPR theory, the repulsion between two lone bag is greater than the repulsion between the lone pair and bond pair.

Similarly, in the SO2 case, the lone pair current on Sulfur and also Oxygen atoms produces repulsion in between them.

In such situations as SO2, where an ext than one lone pair team is present, the geometrical form of the molecule is slightly various as contrasted to the molecule wherein all teams are bonds.

Factors affecting the polarity of a chemical compound

The polarity that a molecule is decided based upon the unequal charge circulation of the atoms associated in the molecule. The unlike charge distribution results in the net dipole moment.

The molecule which has a non-zero worth of network dipole moment is polar whereas the molecule which has actually net dipole moment equals zero is non-polar. The CO2, O2 is an instance of non-polar molecules.

You can read the end the post for the factor of the non-polarity the CO2.

The molecules that have actually zero net dipole moment is as result of equal charge circulation on the atom in the molecule. Therefore, the dipole moment gets canceled out and also results in a net-zero dipole moment.

Dipole moment = Bond length * fee on each element

The calculation dipole moment of SO2 (sulfur dioxide) is 1.6 debyes.

It is better to understand that the difference in electronegativity is among the main factors that affect polarity.

The polarity that a molecule is directly proportional to the difference between the electronegativities the the atoms connected in the molecule.

The polarity and also non-polarity of a molecule depends on the various factors such as

Molecular geometry the the moleculeThe number of identical atoms present.The variety of lone pairs current in the molecule.The the opposite of the molecule.

In the civilization of chemistry, electronegativity is a measure of just how strongly an atom can entice an electron towards itself.

More electronegative atom deserve to strongly tempt electron and also low electronegative atom have the right to weakly tempt the electron.

SO2 link Angle


The SO2 molecule forms the form of the trigonal planar. The lone pair repulsion amongst the Oxygen and also Sulfur develops a bending shape and the angle between the binding is uncovered to be roughly 119-120 degrees.

The position of the atoms in the SO2 is such that the Sulfur atom is current in the center/between both the the Oxygen atoms.

However, the lone pair present on the Sulfur atom reasons repulsion v the lone pair existing on the Oxygen atoms causing the V-shape/bent-shaped SO2 molecule.

The bond edge in SO2 = 120 degrees.

For an ext detailed information about geometry, hybridization, and also lewis structure of SO2, girlfriend should also refer to the article on the lewis framework of SO2.

Polar and Non-Polar Compounds

We every should understand that once two atoms form a bond, they basically share electrons from each other.

And also, that is essential to keep in mind the two various atoms carry out not same share the electron of every other. It is due to the fact that of the electronegativity difference.

The atom with much more electronegativity attracts the pair of bonded electrons towards itself as contrasted to the atom of lesser electronegativity.

As per the studies currently done, the bond formed in between two atoms is polar covalent if the electronegativity distinction lies between 0.5 and also 1.6.

In this bond, the facility of negative charge does no lie in the center. It would certainly be at the end of one atom with higher electronegativity.

And if the electronegativity distinction is lesser than 0.5, the link is non-polar covalent. Whereas, if the electronegativity difference is above 2, the shortcut is ionic.

For example, in the situation of SO2, Oxygen has a greater electronegativity than Sulfur and also it makes it polar. The electronegativity of Sulfur is 2.58 vice versa, the electronegativity of Oxygen is 3.44.

And in the situation of NaCl, the Chlorine atom has actually a greater electronegativity 보다 Sodium, because of which the Chlorine atom pulls the electron shared pair in the direction of itself.

If you room a student of science, the is an extremely helpful come remember that as you move right in the routine table the chemistry, the electronegativity of elements gets higher.

Also, together you move up in the regular table, the electronegativity that the aspects gets higher.

Thus, if you desire to check if a molecule is polar or not.

You must note down the value of electronegativity of atoms associated in the molecule, the variety of lone pairs and also bonds.

And the all at once geometrical form of the molecule. This details is sufficient to conclude whether the molecule is polar or non-polar.


In this article, ns tried come cover the polarity the sulfur dioxide, and also the factors that influence the polarity, exactly how to check the polarity the a molecule through the information compelled to conclude.

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I hope, i cleared her all doubts about the polarity the SO2 and additionally made you know the fundamentals the the polar and non-polar bonds.