Is CH3F Polar or Nonpolar?

Answer: CH3F is a polar molecule due to the presence of a very electronegative fluorine (3.98) as one of the outer atoms which pulls electrons towards it inducing a partial negative charge. The other hydrogen's are therefore left with a partial positive charge. 

Due to this polar dipole CH3F has a far higher melting and boiling point (-138˚C and -78˚C, respectively) than methane. However since the fluorine is bonded to the carbon rather than to one of the hydrogen's the overall electronegativity difference is less and therefore these bonds are not as strong as H-F hydrogen bonds. Therefore fluoromethane (CH3F) is a gas at standard temperature and pressure. Although it has not been noted to be toxic to human health, the reactive nature of fluorine does make the structure flammable.

If you are interested in learning more about the related molecule CH4 (methane), feel free to check out this article on CH4's Lewis Dot Structure or CH4's polarity.

CH3F Ball and Stick Model
CH3F Ball and Stick Model. Created with MolView
How is CH3F utilized in the real world? 

Fluoromethane is utilized in processes involved with constructing semi-conductors. Another name for CH3F is Freon-41: "Freon" is a trademarked term by company that utilizes similar compounds in order to create refrigerants. Although CH3F does not have the same detrimental impact on the ozone layer that compounds combining chlorine, carbon and fluorine have, CH3F is a noted greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming. Due to this reason, CH3F has been phased out from use in industrial applications. 

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