Is ClO3- Polar or Non-Polar Is ClO3- Polar or Non-Polar

Is ClO3- Polar or NonPolar?: Polarity Explained

The chemical formula ClO3 represents Chlorate ion. Chlorine can reach oxidation states of +1, +3, +5 and +7. In this case, as seen in the figure, Chlorates exist in a +5 oxidation state. With an abundance of oxidizing elements, the Chlorate ion and its salts make for powerful oxidizing compounds.

The structural properties of ClO3- will help us understand its polarity better.

Polarity: What is it?

Due to electronegativity and individual charges, atoms share their electrons in an unequal manner. This leads to a separation of charges and the formation of an electric dipole. Polarity is the phenomenon where charges are separated to form an electric dipole moment.

Polar and Non-polar bonds are determined on the basis of the electronegativity of individual atoms. 

A polar molecule will have a net dipole moment due to the presence of induced charges caused by electronegativity of atoms. A non-polar molecule has a zero net-dipole moment.

The polarity of a molecule depends on its shape, its electronegativity and its net dipole moment.

ClO3- Polar or Non-Polar?

ClO3 has a trigonal pyramidal shape with a lone pair of electrons over the Chlorine atom. It has bond angles of 109.5°, formed due to the repulsion explained by VSEPR theory. A lack of symmetry due to its geometry results in the induced charges not being cancelled out.

This points to a polar nature.

Electronegativity and Net Dipole Moment

In terms of electronegativity, the Chlorate ion possesses a negative ionic charge of -1. The difference in charge between Chlorine and Oxygen is 0.38. This suggests that the bonds between the atoms are non-polar in nature. However, the presence of a negative ionic charge over the atoms, makes the Cl-O bonds polar in nature.

The net dipole moment is given by:

Cl charge= 0.510
O charge=-0.503
O charge=-0.503

O charge=-0.504
with a dipole moment of 2.18 Debye

With a non-zero dipole moment, the ClO3 ion is a polar molecule. 


Due to its asymmetrical shape and the presence of a net dipole moment, the ClO3 ion is polar in nature. This affects its solubility and other properties.

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