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Atoms and Atomic Structure
Chemical Bonding

Is NO a polar molecule?


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May 26, 2016 4:55PM

Electronegativity values are useful in determining if a bond is to be classified as nonpolar covalent, polar covalent or ionic. The electronegativities of oxygen and nitrogen are respectively, 3.44 and 3.04 on the Pauling scale, the electronegativity difference being, 0.4. This is a very small difference and the bond is only very slightly polar, sometimes even considered non-polar. One should make the distinction between a polar/nonpolar BOND, and a polar/nonpolar molecule. You can have a polar bond, such as those in CCl4, but the molecule is non polar because of the molecular geometry and the fact that the 4 chloride atoms cancel each other. NO not only has a polar bond, but the molecule itself is also polar.