Question #cf092

1 Answer
Dec 5, 2016


You can use arbitrary values of #ΔEN# to classify the bond type, but you can also use your knowledge of molecular geometry and structure to predict this as well.


In arbitrary units, the Pauling scale:

Nonpolar covalent bonds when, #ΔEN<0.5 #
Polar covalent bonds when, # 0.5 < ΔEN < 1.7#
Ionic bonds when, # ΔEN>1.7#

Of course, you need some sort of chart or table to do this (mainly the Pauling scale values), but if you do not have a chart with electronegativity values to compare, consider this:

If the compound is ionic (metal + nonmetal constituents) the bond formed will be ionic.

If the compound is molecular, the bond formed could be a polar covalent bond or a nonpolar covalent bond depending on "close" the bonded species are on the periodic table.

As expected then, for diatomics, the bond is formed is nonpolar covalent. Such as #F_2# or #O_2#.

But, the bond between two molecular species can sometimes be ionic, in the case of #BF_3# for example - so be careful. It's best to use elctronegativity values to calculate #ΔEN# when you can.

You can find elctronegavity values here: