The dipole measured for HI is 0.380 D. The bond distance is 161 pm. What is the percent ionic character of the HI bond?
Molecules can be polar because of the unsymmetrical distribution of electrons. The dipole moment, μmu, is a measure of the net polarity and is defined as the charge QQ, in coulombs, times the distance between the charges, rr, in meters:
μ = Q × r
The SI unit of dipole moment is the coulomb-meter (C ⋅ m), but another common unit is the debye (D). The two are related as
3.336 × 10−30 C ⋅ m = 1 D
The percent ionic character is a comparison of the measured dipole moment of the bond to the expected dipole moment if electrons are instead transferred:
The dipole moment if electrons are completely transferred is one for which a full unit of charge (1.60 × 10 − 19 C) exists on each end of the bond.
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