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Question

Why is the dipole moment of CH4 zero?


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Solution

Dipole moment

  • Dipole moments form as a result of the difference in electronegativity between two chemically bonded atoms.
  • A dipole moment arises in any system where there is charge separation.
  • It may be found in both ionic and covalent bonds.
  • Asymmetric or different electro-negativities indicate molecules having a dipole moment.
  • Example: Hydrogen chloride and chloroform.

Dipole moment of CH4 zero

  • The shape of methane CH4 is tetrahedral.
  • Structure of methane:
Shape of the methane molecule is .
  • Due to the tetrahedral structure, each bond pair is at an equal distance, indicating that they are symmetrically arranged.
  • As a result, each bond dipole moments cancel out one another, resulting in zero net dipole moment.

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