Is BrO3- Polar or Nonpolar?

Is BrO3- Polar or Nonpolar?

BrO3- is simply called bromate anions and those compounds that contain this ion are called bromate. BrO3- is basically a bromine-based oxoanion. Some of the examples of bromate compounds are potassium bromate (KBrO3), and Sodium bromate (NaBrO3).

Bromate ion can be formed by different methods but most commonly when bromine is reacts with ozone BrO3- formed which cause municipal in drinking water responsible for carcinogen in humans.

Br- + O3  BrO3-

In the laboratory, it can be prepared by dissolving Br2 in concentration potassium hydroxide (KOH). This reaction takes place in two intermediate forms.

Br2 + 2 OH- → Br- + BrO- +H2O

3 BrO-  BrO3- + 2 Br-

BrO3- polar or nonpolar?

Here in this article, we will know about the polarity of BrO3-, whether it is polar or nonpolar molecule in detail. But first, have some basic information about what polar and nonpolar molecules are.

Polar Molecule

If there are polar bonds present within the molecule and the induced charges on each bond are not canceling each other, there is a net dipole charge on the molecule. Such molecules are called polar molecules.

Examples of polar molecules are Hydrogen fluoride (HF), Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Water (H2O), etc.

Nonpolar Molecule

Nonpolar molecules are defined as the molecules that have a net dipole moment zero. If there are no charge induced on the molecule and the molecule contains covalent bonds are called a nonpolar molecule.

Examples of nonpolar molecules are Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), Benzene (C6H6), Xenontetrafluoride (XeF4), etc.

Checkout: Difference Between Polar & Nonpolar Molecules With Examples [In Detailed].

So, Is BrO3- polar or nonpolar? BrO3- is a polar molecule because the electronegativity difference between bromine (2.96) and oxygen (3.44). Moreover, BrO3- has a trigonal pyramidal geometry which causes Br-O bonds polar charges do not cancel each other, as a result, the molecule has a net dipole moment.

BrO3- Polar or Nonpolar (Detailed Explanation)

These are some of the major aspects on which polarity of the molecules are used to determine:

Electronegativity difference

Electronegativity is a tendency of an atom to attract sharing pairs of electrons. Higher the electronegativity value, the atom will be more powerful to attract shared pair of electrons which results in the induction of partial positive and negative charges at the end.

According to the Pauli scale, if the electronegativity difference between two atoms in a molecule is higher than 0.4 and lower than 2.0, it will be a nonpolar bond.

In the BrO3-, the Br-O bonds are considered nonpolar because the electronegativity difference between oxygen (3.44) and bromine (2.96) is 3.44 – 2.96 = 0.48 which means each Br–O bonds are polar.

Lewis Structure of BrO3-

Lewis structure is defined as the pictorial representation of molecules with their valence electrons. It helps to determine structure, shape, bond nature, polarity, and many more aspects of the particular compound.

BrO3- polar or nonpolar?

BrO3- has a total of 26 valence electrons; 7 of bromine, 18 of three oxygen, and 1 of the negative charge which is used to draw Lewis structure of BrO3-.

Molecular Geometry of BrO3-

BrO3- polar or nonpolar?

BrO3- has a trigonal pyramidal geometry due to the presence of one lone pair of electrons on central Cl atom and three σ (sigma) bonds within the molecule. This means BrO3- is not a symmetrical molecule and so the induced dipole charges on each Br-O bond do not cancel each other.

Dipole Moment of BrO3-

Dipole moment is defined as the product of induced charge (Q) and the distance between the atoms (d).

Dipole moment = Charge(Q) * distance between atoms (d)

Dipole moment is a vector quantity. This is the major aspects for any compound to be polar or nonpolar. If the molecule has zero dipole moment, that will be nonpolar and if has a value, it will be polar.

In the case of BrO3-, the dipole moment can’t be zero as the molecule does not have a symmetrical structure. This is one of the major reasons why bromate anions are polar in nature.


BrO3- is a polar molecule because bromate anion is not symmetrical but it has trigonal pyramidal geometry. The Br-O bonds are also polar in nature and so the induced charges do not oppose each other and that’s why the BrO3- molecule has a net dipole charge as well as it has already a negative charge.

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