POF3 Lewis Structure & Characteristics (13 Helpful Facts)

POF3 is called as Phosphorus oxyfluoride or phosphoryl fluoride is a halogenated molecule with a molecular weight of 103.9 g/mol. Let us discuss more facts about POF3.

POF3 is a clear colorless gas that can be synthesized by partial hydrolysis of phosphorous pentafluoride. It is a corrosive gas that forms HF when it comes in to contact with H2O. It has a very low boiling point in the range of -390 C.

POF3 is an inorganic compound that has a structure that looks similar to H2SO4. Let us study lewis structure of POF3 and its characteristics like valence electrons, lone pairs etc.

How to draw POF3 lewis struktuur?

Lewis structure is a simplified description of the bonding pairs as well non-bonding pairs of electrons using the valence electrons of all the atoms. Let us discuss below.

Tel die totale valenselektrone

The outer shell electronic configuration of P, O and F are 3s23p3, 2's22p4 en 2's22p5. The outermost electrons in the 2s, 2p 3s and 3p shells are the valenselektrone that participate in construction of IF6+ lewis structure. The availability of total valence electrons is the crucial step.

A total of 32 valence electrons are available from one P, one oxygen and three fluorine atoms.

Die keuse van die sentrale atoom

P is chosen as the central atom as it has least electronegativity compared to F and O atoms. P has magnitude of electronegativity (X) = 2.19 and O, F have 3.44, 3.98. The most electropositive atom has greater tendency to show covalency and form more bonds as it can share more electrons.

Teken die skeletstruktuur

Two electron pairs are assigned between each of the four sets (P-O, 3 P-F). This forms 4 single covalent bonds between P-O and P-F. The octet rule is not fulfilled for P-O so another pair of electrons are put between them. This forms one double bond between P-O.

Hence, a total of 5 bonding pairs of electrons are formed which takes up 10 valence electrons.

Assigning the lone pairs of electrons

The remaining 22 electrons are assigned as lone pairs of electrons. Each F atom gets 3 lone pairs of electrons to fulfil its octet. This makes 4 electrons available to be assigned as lone pairs of electrons on O atom. The lone pairs are localized on the respective atoms.

Stepwise construction of POF3 lewis struktuur

POF3 Lewis struktuur vorm

Shape of a molecule is the structure adopted by a molecule and involves only the bonding pairs of electrons to account for the overall shape. Let us discuss in details.

The shape of POF3 lewis structure is tetrahedral. The valency of P can extend up to 5. The central atom is connected to 4 atoms that are arranged in a tetrahedral fashion to avoid repulsion among the bonding pairs. There is also a double bond between P and O and 3 single bonds between P and F.  

The nonbonding pairs of electrons on O atom and F atoms do not contribute to the shape of POF3 lewis struktuur.

POF3 Lewis struktuur formele aanklag

Formal charge is the hypothetical charge possessed by each atom in a molecule when all the electrons are distributed fairly in lewis structure. Let us learn in details.

The formal charge of POF3 is nul which has been calculated using the formula ‘Formele lading = (Aantal valenselektrone in 'n vrye atoom van die element) – (Aantal ongedeelde elektrone op die atoom) – (Aantal bindings aan die atoom)'.

  • Formal charge of P = 5-0-5 = 0
  • Formal charge of all the 3 equivalent F atoms = 7-6-1 = 0
  • Formal charge of O = 6-4-2 = 0
  • The overall formal charge of POF3 is nul.
  • Hence, POF3 is 'n neutrale molekule.

POF3 lewis struktuur oktet reël

Octet rule is a general rule where every atom puts 8 electrons in its valence shell either by losing or gaining electrons for inert gas stability. Let us discuss below.

POF3 does not obey octet rule. P atom accommodates more than 8 electrons in its shell. Thus, it violates octet rule. It has 10 electrons in its shell. The other 4 atoms which include 3 equivalent F atoms and one O atoms follow octet rule. They have 8 electrons including bonding and nonbonding electron pairs.

POF3 lewis struktuur eensame pare

Lone pairs are those electrons that do not participate in any chemical bond formation and stays as nonbonding electrons. Let us calculate lone pairs below.

POF3 has a total of 11 lone pairs of electrons. Except P atom, the rest 4 atoms have lone pair of electrons residing on them. Each F atom has 3 lone pairs of electrons localized on it. O atom has 2 lone pairs of electrons that stays localized but it can undergo delocalization if required.

POF3 valenselektrone

Valence electrons are the loosely bounded electrons in the outermost shell to the nuclei that can form chemical bonds. Let us discuss the facts below.

The valence electrons of POF3 is 32 that participates in the chemical bond formation of POF3. The outer shell electronic configuration of P, O and F are 3s23p3, 2's22p4 en 2's22p5. Each F atoms contributes 7 valence shell electrons which makes a total of 21 valence electrons from 3 F atoms.

The O atom donates 6 valence electrons and P shares 5 valence electrons. The outermost shells 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p electrons are loosely bounded to the nuclei.

POF3 verbastering

Hybridization is the overlapping of the atomic orbitals of the atoms in a molecule to obtain hybridized orbitals stable in energy. Let us study below in details.

The hybridization of POF3 is sp3 as it adopts a tetrahedral shape. The hybridization of P is sp2 as it is double bonded to the O atom but the overall hybridization of POF3 is sp3. The 3s orbital and the subshells of 3p(3pz, 3px en 3py) undergo hybridization with the 2p orbitals of F atoms and O atoms.

The hybridized orbitals of all the atoms form a stable molecule lower in energy. The bond pairs are at the maximum distance in sp3 vorm.

POF3 Lewis struktuur hoek

Bond angle is the angle between the orbitals of the central atom and any two atoms connected to the same central atom. Let us discuss more facts below.

The bond angle of POF3 is groter as 109.50 and somewhat closer to 1200. This is because the central atom is not purely sp3 hybridized. It has some sp2 character which results in the bond angle slightly deviated from regular tetrahedral angle. The bond, lone pairs are most stable when they are close to 1200.

Generally, a tetrahedral molecule with all equivalent bonding atoms is exactly close to 109’5. Rest tetrahedral molecules with different connecting atoms deviate from the regular angle.

Is POF3 polêr of nie-polêr?

Polar molecules have net dipole moment that results in dipole dipole or ion dipole interactions in polar surroundings. Let us study in details.

POF3 is a polar molecule. The tetrahedral nature in this case does not let cancellation of the dipole moment vectors as it has different connecting atoms to the central atom. The dipole moment vectors towards P-F is greater in magnitude than P=O as F is more electronegative than O.

The resulting dipole moment vector of P-F is large enough to form partial negative and positive ends in the molecule to attract polar molecules or ions from the surrounding. So, it attracts the electron cloud of the central atom more towards F. This results in P-F dipole moment magnitude to exceed P=O dipole moment.

Dipole moment vectors shown by arrows in POF3 lewis struktuur

Is POF3 ionies of kovalent?

Covalent molecules are formed between non-metals and ionic molecules are formed between metal and non-metals. Let us discuss in details.

POF3 is a covalent molecule as it is formed between non-metals. All the atoms have close range electronegativity. The pi bond between P=O can get delocalized over the O atom forming a positive and negative charge on P and O. However, this will lead to instability of the molecule.

POF3 , however, has some ionic character that forms partial positive and negative ends on P and O, F atoms.

Is POF3 oplosbaar in water?

Solubility of a molecule is the amount of energy released when one mole of the substance dissolves in a solution. Let us discuss in details.

POF3 is slightly soluble in water. It is soluble in ethanol, ether and some polar solvents. The molecule is polar but it has some covalent which does not allow to dissociate in to ions in solution. The solubility is hindered in water as its hydration energy is not sufficient enough to break the lattice.

For a molecule to be completely soluble in a solvent, its hydration energy must be greater than the lattice energy to break down in to its respective ions.

Is POF3 elektroliet?

An electrolyte is a chemical substance that consists of cations and anions associated together. Let us discuss in details below.

POF3 is not an electrolyte as it does not have respective cations or anions associated together. It is a covalent compound that does not form ions in solution or shows any electrolytic nature during electrolysis.


POF3 is a covalent molecule with sp3 hybridization and tetrahedral geometry that has 11 lone pairs of electrons and is soluble in hydrocarbons.

Nandita Biswas

Hallo. Ek doen my Meestersgraad in Chemie met 'n spesialisering in organiese en fisiese chemie. Ek het ook twee projekte in chemie gedoen - Een wat handel oor kolorimetriese skatting en bepaling van ione in oplossings. Ander in Solvatochromism bestudeer fluorofore en hul gebruike in die veld van chemie saam met hul stapeleienskappe op emissie. Ek het ook gespesialiseer in Resin chemikalieë. Kom ons koppel deur LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/in/nandita-biswas-244b4b179

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