Best overview: Is BrF3 Polar or Nonpolar

Bromine trifluoride has the chemical formula BrF3 and interhalogen compound. It is an inorganic compound. It contains one bromine and three fluorine atoms. All four atoms in this BrF3 molecule have high electronegativity values. The student used to ask “Is BrF3 polar or nonpolar?”, “BrF3 Lewis structure”, “BrF3 molecular geometry”, and “polarity of BrF3”. In this blog post, we are going to discuss these in a detailed manner.

BrF3 has a pungent odor and appearance as straw colored liquid. Is BrF3 a polar or nonpolar molecule in nature? Because the presence of two lone pairs on the bromine atom causes the molecule’s form to be deformed or bent, BrF3 (bromine trifluoride) is a polar molecule. And because the charge distribution between bromine and three fluorine atoms in BrF3 molecule isn’t uniform, the BrF3 molecule is polar.

Interhalogen bromine trifluoride (BrF3) is a chemical with three fluorine atoms and a central bromine atom. It exists in a straw color liquid with a strong pungent odor at standard temperature and pressure conditions. When it comes into contact with water or other organic materials, it reacts quickly. Due to the existence of very reactive three fluorine atoms linked together, it is a potent fluorinating agent in an organic chemistry laboratory.

BrF3 banner

BrF3 synthesis and chemical reactivity:

Paul Lebeau, was a well-known French Chemist, was the first to discover it in 1906. It was made by combining bromine vapor and fluorine at the temperature of 20°C. This is a gas phase reaction. Bromine vapor reacted with fluorine gas diluted with nitrogen gas gives bromine trifluoride(BrF3)

Br2(vapour) + 3F2 (diluted with N2) ————–> 2BrF3

The formation of BrF3

It is one of the highly reactive interhalogen compound. The order of chemical reactivity is as follows

ClF3 > BrF3>IF7>BrF5>IF5>BrF

Order of chemical reactivity of interhalogen compounds

It reacted with water very faster way. The reaction of BrF3 with waster as follows

BrF3 + 3H2O ——–> 3HF + H3BrO3

Hydrolysis reaction of bromine trifluoride(BrF3)

Bromine trifluoride reacted with water and gives hydrogen fluoride(HF) and H3BrO3 acid.

BrF3 reacted with metal and nonmettalic acompounds as follows

4BrF3 + 3SiO2 —–> 3SiF4 + 2Br2 + 3O2

BrF3 reacted with silica(SiO2)- nonmetallic compound

4BrF3 + 2WO3 ——–> 2WF6 +2Br2 +3O2

BrF3 reacted with tungsten oxide (WO3)- metallic compound

Normally all the oxides of metal and nonmetal are stable compounds. It won’t undergo any chemical reactions easily. But, Bromine trifluoride is a very reactive substance and reacted well with the oxides materials also.

Reaction with Silica(SiO2): Silica (SiO2) is not metallic oxide. silicon element comes under nonmetallic family. It is generally called the metalloid family. Bromine trifluoride (BrF3) reacted with silica(SiO2), forms silicon tetrafluoride, bromine, and oxygen.

Reaction with tungsten oxide(WO3): Tungsten is a metal. The chemical formula for tungsten oxide is WO3. Bromine trifluoride (BrF3) reacted with tungsten oxide, forms tungsten hexafluoride, bromine, and oxygen.

BrF3 reacted with salt: potassium fluoride (KF) salt reacted with bromine trifluoride and forms polyhalides.

BrF3 + KF ——-> KBrF4

formation of polyhalides

Bromine trifluoride used to prepare polyhalides. another one polyhalides preparation reaction is as follows

SbF3 + BrF3 ——–> SbBrF6

formation of polyhalides

Properties of BrF3

BrF3 molecule has a molecular mass of 136.90 g/mol. It is possible to compute it as follows

Molecular mass of BrF3 = 1 * 79.9 (atomic mass of Br) + 3 * 18.9 (atomic mass of F) = 136.90 g/mol.

calculation of molecular mass of BrF3

Bromine trifluoride(BrF3) has a chemical composition of one bromine central atom and three fluorine atoms in that molecular geometry. The core central atom of BrF3 molecule is bromine, which is surrounded by three fluorine atoms. Fluorine and bromine atoms have seven valence electrons.

They both fall in the same halogen family. In their outermost shells, both atoms have seven electrons. It needs one more electron to get a stable octet noble gas configuration. The BrF3 molecule has 28 valence electrons. Three electrons from the central bromine atom of BrF3 molecule covalently bonded with the three fluorine atoms. The remaining four free electrons on the bromine atom form the two lone pairs.

The two lone pairs on the bromine atom remain after three fluorine atoms are covalently bound to it. The fluorine atom has an electronegativity value of 3.98, while the bromine atom has an electronegativity value of 2.96. Both bromine and fluorine have high electronegative values. But the electronegativity of fluorine is higher than bromine.

The bromine atom occupies the central middle position of the molecular geometry due to its lower electronegative nature as compared with the fluorine atom. The bond polarity across the Br-F bond is generated by the difference in electronegativity of bromine and fluorine atoms, with the central bromine atom as the positive pole and three fluorine as the negative pole.

It should be observed that the bromine atom contains two lone pairs on it, which produces shape distortion due to electrical repulsion between lone pairs and bound pairs, resulting in the bent shape in the molecular geometry of BrF3 molecule.

As a result of this, the charge distribution on bromine and fluorine atoms are nonuniform, i.e., unequally distributed. BrF3 molecule is polar. We investigate that further with geometry, Lewis structure, and other polarity related properties.

In this blog , you can see more about the polarity of CH2Cl2, CHCl3, BF3, and BeCl2.

BrF3 Lewis Structure

Lewis structure is one of the oldest methods to illustrate the structure of molecules. It is represented with the dot structure of molecules. Here, the bonding and nonbonding valence electrons of the molecules are considered as the dots. It simple dot structure representation of the molecule.

Lewis structure follows certain rules. One of the main rule is to obey the octet rule. But always there is an exception. Due to the low electronegative value of bromine atom as compared with a fluorine atom in BrF3 molecule. Bromine and fluorine atom has seven valence electron.

Best overview: Is BrF3 Polar or Nonpolar

The total valence electron of BrF3 molecule is 28 electrons. Bromine central atom’s three electrons covalent bonded with three fluorine atom. The total paired electron between three fluorine and one central bromine atom is six. Fluorine atoms have six more lone pairs of electrons its valence shell. The total valence electron in the three fluorine atoms in the BrF3 molecule is 18 electrons.

Bromine gave already its three valence electrons to form a covalent bond pairing with three fluorine atoms. The remaining four electrons of the bromine atom form two lone pairs of electrons. These two lone pairs of electrons are repulsive to each other. It gives a bent shape for the BrF3 molecule.

In this blog, you can see more Lewis structure of H2O, NH3, NH4+, and SF4 molecules.

BrF3 Polarity, Molecular geometry, Hybridization, and Bond angle

Bromine trifluoride is a powerful very reactive interhalogen chemical that is often employed as a strong fluorinating agent for organic synthesis. interhalogen compounds are included with bromine and fluorine. This compound is frequently found in liquid form and has a strong pungent odor.

The core central atom is Bromine, which forms a T-shaped BrF3 molecular structure. To learn more about its physical qualities, chemical properties, and applications, you must first grasp the molecule’s geometry, including hybridization, polarity, and other factors.

Name of moleculeBromine Trifluoride (BrF3)
No of Valence Electrons in the molecule28
Hybridization of BrF3sp3d  hybridization
Bond Angles86.2 degrees
Molecular Geometry of BrF3Trigonal Bipyramidal

The total valence electrons of the BrF3 molecule are 28. The BrF3 molecule undergoes SP3d hybridization. It looks like a T-shape molecule with trigonal bipyramidal geometry. The F-Br-F bond angle of BrF3 molecule is 86.2 degrees.

To figure out how bromine trifluoride hybridizes, look at the electron configuration of the central bromine atom, which is the center atom in BrF3molecule. It is represented as 1s2 2s22p6 3s23p63d104s24p5 electronic configuration.

However, certain electrons in Bromine are moved to 4d-orbitals in order to make bonds with fluorine atoms. This is due to fluorine’s increased oxidative and polarizable capability of bromine atom, which drives Bromine to promote electrons to the desired d- orbital to form a bond with a fluorine atom. The bromine atom of the BrF3 molecule involves its d orbital in the hybridization.

In the outermost valence shell, Bromine( Br) and Fluorine (F) have seven electrons. The central bromine atom contains two lone pairs and three Br—F covalent bonds after bond formation (bonding Br: F pairs). The electron pair’s hybridization value is equal to 5, resulting in sp3d hybrid orbitals. As a result, the hybridization is sp3d.

As a result, the BrF3 molecule’s hybridization is sp3d with trigonal bipyramidal molecular geometry.

BrF3 Bond angle 

BrF3 has a T-shaped or trigonal bipyramidal molecular geometry (as mentioned above), with a bond angle F-Br-F of BrF3 is 86.2°, which is somewhat less than the normal 90°. The angle is generated because the electron pairs repel one other more strongly than the Br-F bonds. It bent the shape of the BrF3 molecule.

Lone pairs spread out more in space than bound pairs, resulting in compressed bond angles as compared to a perfect trigonal bipyramid molecular geometry.

Is BrF3 polar or nonpolar?

Because of the relatively large difference in electronegativity values of the fluorine and bromine atoms in the BrF3 molecule, the bonds of Br-F are called polar. The unshared pairs, also known as lone pairs, are situated on the bromine central atom triangle’s plane, resulting in an unequal distribution of negative charge around the center bromine atom of the BrF3 molecule, making the combination highly polar.

BrF3 Electronegativity:

Fluorine atom’s electronegativity is its ability to attract a bound electron pair to its side along the Br-F bond in the BrF3 molecule. When the electronegativity value of fluorine and bromine atoms making a covalent Br-F connection differs, the Br-F bond tends to be polar.

The difference of electronegativity of Br-F bond can bec calculated as follows

Electronegativity of bromine = 2.96

Electronegativity of fluorine =3.98

Difference of Br-F bond = 3.98 – 2.96 =1.02

calculation of electronegativity difference of Br-F

Because the bonded electron pair is significantly closer to the greater electronegative fluorine atom, it receives a partial negative charge in the BrF3 molecule. Similarly, a fluorine atom, which is a more electronegative value, gets a partial negative charge in the BrF3 molecule.

BrF3 Dipole Moment:

It is a measurement of BrF3 molecule’s polarity. The formula is as follows:

D(Br-F) = Q(Br-F) * R(Br-F)

Q(Br-F) = Charge distributed in the Br-F bond

R(Br-F) = Bond length of Br-F

D(Br-F)= Dipole moment of Br-F bond

Dipole moment calculation formula for Br-F bond in BrF3


It’s the sum of the charges on the bromine and fluorine atoms and the distance between the positive pole of bromine and the negative pole of fluorine atom charge centers. This can be easily calculated with computational chemistry. If you interested in the theoretical calculation, please leave the suggestion in the comment section. Bromine trifluoride(BrF3), has a molecular dipole moment of 1.19 D, Its SI unit is the Debye, which is represented by the letter D.

BrF3 Geometrical shape

When defining the polarity of the BrF3 molecule, the shape of the BrF3 molecule is crucial. The BrF3 molecule is T shape with trigonal bipyramidal geometry.

“A molecule with a symmetrical structure is nonpolar, whereas a molecule with an asymmetrical form is polar.”

Basic definition of polarity

Bromine trifluoride’s geometry is also asymmetric trigonal bipyramidal geometry, resulting in non-uniform charge distribution. BrF3 molecule is polar.

Why is BrF3 a Polar Molecule?

Bromine trifluoride (BrF3) has three fluorine atoms encircling one central bromine atom, as previously stated. The electronic repulsion occurs because the central bromine atom contains lone pairs on it. According to the VSEPR theory, the repulsion between the two lone pairs and three bond pairs exerts a downward force on the Br-F bonds, bending the trigonal bipyramidal geometry form of the molecule.

Furthermore, bromine and fluorine atoms have differing electronegativity values, with three fluorine atoms being more electronegative value than the central bromine atom of the BrF3 molecule. The polarity of the three Br-F bonds is ensured by the difference in electronegativity of bromine and fluorine atoms.

The polar Br-F bond’s dipole moment is always non zero. Similarly, each of the three Br-F has a dipole with a non-zero value. It is a highly polarized bond due to the electronegativity value of atoms. The BrF3 molecule’s net dipole also appears to be non-zero, with a direction that originates from the Br to the downward direction, i.e. the three fluorine atoms side. The entire BrF3 molecule becomes polar due to the asymmetric structure and polar Br-F bonds.

Properties of BrF3

The properties of BrF3 are listed below

  • At room temperature, it is a straw-colored liquid. Most of the interhalogen compounds are gases.
  • It has a strong pungent odor.
  • BrF3 has a density of roughly 2.803 g/cm3.
  • Surface Tension of BrF3 is 36.3 dynes/cm = 0.0363 N/m at 20°C.
  • Critical Temperature of BrF3 is 621°F = 327°C = 600°K.
  • Latent Heat of Vaporization: 130 Btu/lb = 74 cal/g = 3.1 X 10^5 J/kg .
  • It has a melting point of 8.77 degrees Celsius (47.79 degrees Fahrenheit) and a boiling point of 125.72 degrees Celsius (258.30 degrees Fahrenheit). It is higher in the boiling of water.
  • It dissolves quickly in sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and reacts violently with water.

Uses of BrF3

The uses of BrF3 is listed as follows

  • It is used as a fluorinating agent for organic synthesis.
  • It is extremely useful in the production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which is used in nuclear fuel processing.
  • Polyhalogen compounds are synthesized by using this.
  • This chemical is also an ionizing inorganic solvent with a high ionization potential.

Concluding Summary

BrF3, or bromine trifluoride, is a powerful fluorinating agent for chemical reactions with sp3d hybridization in its center bromine atom. It’s a T-shaped molecule with an 86.2° bond angle. The molecule is very polar, and it is mostly utilized to make uranium hexafluoride during uranium processing. It is used to produce interhalogen compounds and polyhalogens. I hope that this article has given you a better understanding of BrF3’s molecular shape and other features.

FAQ on “Is BrF3 polar or nonpolar ?”

Is BrF3 polar or nonpolar molecule?

Because of the existence of two lone pairs on the central bromine atom, BrF3 (bromine trifluoride) is a polar molecule with a deformed or twisted trigonal bipyramidal structure. And because the charge distribution on its atoms of BrF3 molecule is non-uniform, the BrF3 molecule is polar in nature.

Is BF3 polar covalent?

Is BrF3 polar or non-polar? Because of its highly asymmetric structure, BF3 (Boron Trifluoride) is Polar. It features a Trigonal bipyramidal geometry that has dipole moments of the three BF bonds, resulting in a BrF3 dipole moment is 1.19 D .

What type of bond is BrF3?

Br-F form highly polarize covalent bond. It forms three Br-F covalent bonds.

Is BrF3 T-shaped?

Yes, It lookk like T-shape molecule. The bond angle F-Br-F is 86.2 degree.

The polarity of the molecules

The polarity of the molecules are listed as follows

Lewis Structure and Molecular Geometry

Lewis structure and molecular geometry of molecules are listed below

External References: “Is BrF3 polar or nonpolar ?”

Information of BrF3

Application of BrF3

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