Is CH2F2 Polar or Nonpolar?

Answer: CH2F2 is a polar molecule because of the pull of electrons towards the fluorine dipoles (i.e. the partial negative charge) and the resulting partial positive charges on the hydrogen ends of the tetrahedron. 

Although we have discussed many cases of tetrahedral molecules that are nonpolar, in all of these cases the four molecules around the central carbon or silicon atom have been the same element. This example likens back more to CH3Br which was slightly polar due to the presence of the Br molecule and the overall combined pull of electrons. However in this example CH2F2 has a far stronger dipole due to the much larger relative polarity of fluorine (3.98) to carbon (2.55) and hydrogen (2.20).

However the polarity does not rival the strength of smaller hydrogen bonding capable molecules. Due to these set of facts, the molecule forms a gas at standard temperature and pressure with a boiling point of -51˚C.

CH2F2 Ball and Stick Model
CH2F2 Ball and Stick Model. Created with MolView.
How is CH2F2 utilized in the real world?

The molecule is commonly utilized in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. It's relative size in number of electrons yet polar character allow it to serve as an excellent insulator to prevent the transfer of heat between two mediums. Although the compound does not seem to damage the ozone layer, it keeps greenhouse gases trapped on earth at a rate of 675 times than of carbon dioxide.


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  2. Very interesting!