Is ClO3- Polar or NonPolar?: Polarity Explained

Is ClO3- Polar or Non-Polar

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.


About Priyanka

To read, write and know something new every day is the only way I see my day! Well, that rhymed. Hey folks, this is me, Priyanka, writer at Geometry of Molecules where I want to make Chemistry easy to learn and quick to understand. Having an MSc degree helps me explain these concepts better. I write all the blogs after thorough research, analysis and review of the topics. And if not writing you will find me reading a book in some cosy cafe!

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