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Name: Donna S.
Status: educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Monday, June 17, 2002


Question:
Can you tell me please Since hydrogen peroxide is a non symmetric molecule what is its polarity? ( I think that it must be neutral) Thanks


Replies:
The polarity of H2O2 vs. H2O and N2H2(hydrazine) vs. NH3 is measured by comparing the dipole moments. The dipole moment of H2O2 and water is 2.2 and 1.85 respectively. The dipole moment of N2H2 and NH3 is 1.75 vs. 1.47 debye units (cgs. system). This is surprising at first glance since one might be tempted to assign a trans - planar structure to H2O2 and N2H2. This temptation in incorrect however. The higher polarity indicates that the actual structure of these molecules is a skewed cis - structure with the hydrogen atoms pointing in the same direction and the lone pairs oriented in the same but opposite direction with respect to the O--O and the N--N bonds. Only this configuration would result in dipole moments larger for these molecules compared to H2O and NH3.

Vince Calder



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