Is BrF3 Polar or Nonpolar?

Answer: BrF3 is a polar molecule due to the presence of two pairs of lone pair electrons. These because of electron-electron repulsion cause a bent structure. This results in an unequal distribution of charge and the creation of a permanent dipole. 

Due to the combination of polar permanent partial charges and temporary charges caused by the unequal distribution of electrons, this molecule has a melting point of 8.8˚C and a boiling point of 126˚C. Although you would expect this molecule since it is polar to dissolve in water, Bromide trifluoride in fact only dissolves in sulfuric acid since sulfuric acid is strong enough to prevent BrF3 from decomposing into other acids. For example the structure reacts with water to form both hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen bromide, both strong acids in their own right. BrF3 is a liquid at standard temperature and pressure.

If you are interested in learning about the related molecule ClF3, feel free to check out this article.

BrF3 Ball and Stick Model
BrF3 Ball and Stick Model. Created with MolView.
How is BrF3 utilized in the real world?

Similar to ClF3, Bromine trifluoride is utilized as a powerful fluorinating agent, adding fluorides to certain compounds within reactions. It is specifically utilized in the reaction to create UF6 for nuclear fuel processing. Furthermore, it can also be utilized as a conductor because it self-ionizes in solution.

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