Polar Covalent Bond

polar covalent bond

The electrons are unequally shared between two atoms

When a chemical bond involves “the sharing of a pair of electrons by two atoms in a molecule”, it is generally called a covalent bond.


In a polar covalent bond, the electrons are not equally shared between the atoms

polar covalent bond

Dipole moment

The unequal sharing of electrons causes a separation of partial charges within the bond. This separation of charges is called a dipole.

a bond dipole

When the electrons are unequally shared between two atoms, one side of the bond becomes more negatively charged, and the other side of the bond becomes more positively charged.

We can use the term “partially positively charged” (denoted by the symbol +) and “partially negatively charged” (denoted by the symbol) or  to describe the effect of the unequal sharing of electrons.

A bond dipole is represented by an arrow as shown in the diagram above.

Electronegativity Bond Scale

Using the Pauling electronegativity bond scale, a polar covalent bond has an electronegativity difference between 0.4 to 1.7.

Electronegativity bond scale

For more information on Electronegativity Bond Scale

Examples of polar covalent bonds

The hydrogen fluoride (HF) molecule has a polar bond between the atoms

Hydrogen fluoride polar bond

The water (H2O) molecule has polar bonds

Polar bonds in a water molecule

Bond dipoles in a carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule

Bond dipole in CO2

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