Problem: Which of the following compound(s) exhibit only London dispersion intermolecular forces? Which compound(s) exhibit hydrogen-bonding forces? Considering only the compounds without hydrogen-bonding interactions, which compounds have dipole–dipole intermolecular forces?a. SF4                   d. HFb. CO2                 e. ICl  5c. CH3CH2OH    f. XeF4

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to identify the intermolecular forces that occur in the given set of molecules. 


Recall that there are several types of intermolecular forces:

1. Ion-dipole interaction – occurs between an ion and a polar covalent compound

2. Hydrogen bonding – occurs in compounds where hydrogen is directly connected to an electronegative element such as N, O, or F

3. Dipole-dipole interaction – occurs between two polar covalent compounds

4. Induced-dipole interaction – occurs when a nonpolar compound interacts with a polar compound

5. Dispersion forces – occurs in all compounds. This is the primary intermolecular force exhibited by nonpolar compounds.


For this problem, we need to do the following steps:

Step 1: Determine the central atom in the molecule.

Step 2: Calculate the total number of valence electrons present.

Step 3: Draw the Lewis structure for the molecule.

Step 4: Determine IMF of the molecule.


For SF4:

Step 1: S is the least electronegative atom so S is the central atom.


Step 2: The total number of valence electrons present is:


            Group             Valence Electrons

S         6A                   1 × 6 e6 e

F         7A                   4 × 7 e28 e

   Total: 34 valence e


Step 3: The Lewis structure is:



Step 4: The central element has a lone pair → polar 

IMF present:

  • Dipole-dipole interaction 
  • London dispersion forces (occurs in all compounds)


For CO2:

Step 1: C is the least electronegative atom so C is the central atom.


Step 2: The total number of valence electrons present is:


            Group             Valence Electrons

C         4A                   1 × 4 e6 e

O         6A                   2 × 6 e12 e

   Total: 18 valence e


Step 3: The Lewis structure is:


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Problem Details

Which of the following compound(s) exhibit only London dispersion intermolecular forces? Which compound(s) exhibit hydrogen-bonding forces? Considering only the compounds without hydrogen-bonding interactions, which compounds have dipole–dipole intermolecular forces?

a. SF4                   d. HF

b. CO2                 e. ICl  5

c. CH3CH2OH    f. XeF4

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Intermolecular Forces concept. You can view video lessons to learn Intermolecular Forces. Or if you need more Intermolecular Forces practice, you can also practice Intermolecular Forces practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Villarreal's class at South Texas College.

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Our data indicates that this problem or a close variation was asked in Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition. You can also practice Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition practice problems.