Is SCl2 Polar or Nonpolar?

Answer: SCl2 is a polar molecule due to the presence of lone pairs of electrons on the central sulfur atom. This results in a bent structure and thereby induces a permanent dipole within the molecule. 

SCl2 is actually an energetically favorable reaction to occur. Although the electronegativity of chlorine (3.16) in some respects cancels out the effects of the lone pair electron on sulfur (2.58), the compound still has strong dipole-dipole interactions leading to a melting point of -121°C and a boiling point of 59°C. This means that the compound is a liquid at standard temperature and pressure. Sulfur dichloride has been described as a "cherry-red" liquid.   

SCl2 Ball and Stick Model
SCl2 Ball and Stick Model. Created with MolView.
How is SCl2 utilized in the real world?

Sulfur dichloride is typically utilized as a precursor molecule in other reactions. These either involve the addition of sulfurs and chlorines to a certain compound or the addition of sulfur to other organic molecules. When the molecule encounters water, it will release hydrochloric acid (HCl). The structure cannot have many other uses because it is quite irritating to the skin and reacts violently with a wide variety of compounds including water and acetone. Therefore caution is advised when handling SCl2.   

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