Question #1186d

1 Answer
Jan 9, 2015

Diatomic oxygen (#O_2#) is a non-polar molecule because it has a non-polar bond, i.e. the double bond between two oxygen atoms.,+8,+9+(period+A)?showComments=1

Bond polarity is determined by the difference in electronegativity between the two atoms that form said bond. In #O_2#'s case, the covalent bond that forms between the two oxygen atoms cannot be polar since there is no difference in electronegativity, both atoms having the same electronegativity value.

Since both atoms that form the bond have the same electronegativity, there will be no distortion of the electron cloud, which in turns will cause no partial charges to be formed on the molecule.

The thing to remember is that no difference or very little difference in electronegativity means a non-polar bond. Therefore, diatomic oxygen has a non-polar covalent bond.