How Is nh3 Polar And Why Not NonPolar,Detailed Facts

How is nh3 polar or it can be nonpolar as well, all this facts and explanation are discussed in the article.

NH3 is polar always. NH3 is the chemical formula of ammonia.

What type of structure of ammonia have?

It is colorless and has pungent smell. To understand the polarity of any given molecule first we look at its Lewis structure and also know about the electronegativity of the atom involve making the structure.

Here we have the Lewis structure NH3 as single Nitrogen atom shares it’s electrons with 3 hydrogen atom. As we see it makes a asymmetrical structure as all the electron are not evenly distributed and there is a loan pair of electron on Nitrogen atom . Now we consider on the basis of electronegativity of the structure.

how is nh3 polar
Image credit : ammonia by istock

How is nh3 polar?

So first of all we should know about what is electronegativity ?? So electronegativity is a measure of the tendency of an atom to attract a bonding pair of electron . Let’s understand this concept by more details, by knowing their electronegativity and shape of the molecule.

Here the electronegativity of N is structure is 3.04 and where as electronegativity of H is 2.2. The difference of electronegativity in between H and N atom is quite high and also greater than 0.5 and which make N-H bond polar and as there is high difference in electronegativity of H and N atom and there is a dipole Moment between N and H atom this molecule is consider as polar .

so in NH3 molecule it has three dipoles because of three bonds and these dipole do not cancel out each other and they form a dipole moment. The direction of vector of dipole moment is from hydrogen atom towards Nitrogen atom as N is try to pull the share electron towards itself due to its high electronegativity . Hence nh3 is polar molecule.

how is nh3 polar
Image credit :Ammonia by istock

How to determine polar and nonpolar?

So there are so many things to differentiate polar  and nonpolar molecule.

 Lets discuss those things here, So to determine non polar molecules if ,

The atoms are Mono-atomic or Diatomic , than the molecules are nonpolar .

Examples: N2,O2,Cl2,F2,H2

Mono atomic gases are basically nonpolar.

Example: He, Ne, Ar, Xe

The molecule composed only carbon and hydrogen are non polar.

Example: CH4 ,C2H6,CH2=CH2

The molecules having symmetric is basically nonpolar because the arrows are cancel out each other , which are opposite in nature.

Example-Carbon Tetra fluoride ,Borane ,Sulfur bromide, carbon dioxide, phosphorus pentachloride

If the electro negativity difference is less than 0.5 than that is must non polar.


1. Iodine mono bromide is non polar. Iodine has electro negativity value 2.5 and bromine has 2.8 so the electro negativity difference is 0.3. This is less than 0.5. so that is non polar molecule.

2. Bromine mono chloride is also non polar.Bromine has electro negativity value 2.8 and chlorine has 3.0, so the electro negativity difference is 0.2, So that is non polar molecule.

Molecule will be non polar , if the molecule has no lone pair. Or if it does it is either square planner or linear and all the atoms around central atom are same.

To determine which is polar molecule , the opposite character of non polar molecule will be discussed here.

If hydrogen is directly boned with N,O, F . Then this is polar in nature.

 Example: H2O, NH3, HF ,CH3NH2

The non symmetric molecules are polar in nature.

 Example: Carbonyl sulfide is polar in nature. It is consist of one sulfur, one, carbon and one oxygen. Sulfur has EN value 2.5 . Carbon has EN value 2.5 and oxygen has EN value 3.5 . here the carbon and oxygen bond is polar because the difference is 1.0 . but the sulfur and carbon bond is non polar. because of the carbon and oxygen bond the molecule is polar.

The electro negativity difference is more than 0.5 than that is called polar molecule.

Discuss some examples here,

  • CH3F is polar in nature. Here the carbon has 2.5 EN value and fluorine has 3.8 EN. So the EN difference is 1.3 ,so this is polar. Here the carbon and hydrogen having non polar but the dipole moment is small for that.
  • Sulfur dioxide is polar. This is the bent like structure. So the arrow and dipole moments are not cancel out each other.because of lone pair also there is lack of symmetric.which makes it polar.
  • NH3 is polar . The arrows are directed toward more electronegetivity. So that is not cancel out each other. Easily we can say this is polar.

Read more on: N2 polar or nonpolar: Why, How, Characteristics, And Detailed Facts

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