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What are the properties of non-polar molecules?
The difference between and lies in the final charge determined by the . Polar molecules will have a net dipole moment which results from partial positive and partial negative charges that arise from a difference in between the molecule's atoms.
describes an atom's ability to attract the electrons in a bond towards itself. Non-polar molecules come about either when two have similar or equal electronegativities, or when the dipoles balance each other out.
As you can see in the above image, an unbalanced distribution of electrons causes the formation of a polar molecule, whereas an even distribution of electrons between the molecule's atoms causes a molecule to be non-polar.
An important aspect to be taken into consideration when talking about the properties of non-polar molecules is the fact that these molecules only exhibit London Dispersion Forces, the weakest of all the .
The strenght of , which are forces that appear between molecules, relates to a lot of physical properties, like melting point, boling point, vapor pressure, surface tension, solubility, and so on.
At room temperature, most non-polar molecules are insoluble in water because water is a polar (the "like dissolves like" rule). Such molecules form hydrophobic, or water-fearing, .
The above image illustrates what happens when a non-polar is placed in water, exhibiting the hydrophobic behaviour of non-polar molecules. Therefore, non-polar compounds are most apt to be soluble in non-polar .
When compared to a polar molecule that has a similar molar mass, a non-polar molecule will generally have a lower boiling point and a lower surface tension, due to the weakness of the intermolecular forces it forms.
Non-polar molecules form compounds that have higher vapor pressures than those formed by polar molecules, since less energy will be needed to make them go from liquid to vapor (a higher vapor pressure means a more rapid evaporation).