Is PO4(3-) polar or non-polar?
Why or why not?
Look up the electronegativity of P and O. I think I remember that O is about 3.5 and P is about 2.1; therefore, each P-O bond is somewhat polar. Thus, the ion will be polar unless the Lewis structure (electron dot structure) is symmetrical. Do you know how to determine that?
1 P = 5 electrons
4 O = 4 x 6e each = 24 electrons
-charge = 3e
Total = 5 + 24 + 3 = 32 electrons.
We have 5 atoms and the octet rules means we need 40 electrons (5 x 8 = 40); thus, 32 electrons must do the job of 40.
P is the central atom. Place 4 O around it at 90 degrees; i.e., top, right side, bottom, left side. 32 electrons will allow each atom to have eight. Its hard to draw on the computer but here goes.
Now place .. above and below each O and that will use 32 electrons. This means we have a tetrahedral structure. That is symmetrical; therefore, the PO4-3 is not polar.
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