Is phosphine (PH3) nonpolar covalent, polar covalent, or ionic?

I need to know for a project, but I don't know how to tell when there is more that two atoms involved. If you could explain that too, that could help.

(Note: Electronegativity for both phosphorus and hydrogen is 2.1)

4 Answers

  • Since the electronegativities of P and H are the same, the covalent bonds are non-polar. So, therefore, is the molecule.

    The observed bond angles are apparently very close to 90 degrees, by the way. The presence of the lone pair makes no difference to the bond angles or the polarity of the molecule in this case.

  • It is polar covalent because if you take the electronegativity of the 3 Hydrogens and minus it from the electronegativity of Phosphorus and if you take the absolute value of the number then you will get a number more than 0.

    |P - 3H| = | 2.1 - 3(2.1) | = | -4.2 | = 4.2

    4.2 > 0 and so is polar.

    Covalent is a non-metal to a non-metal bond

    And PH3 is not ionic because Phosphorus is a non-metal and if H comes after something then it is also non-metal.

    Ionic is a metal to a non-metal bond

    But if it was H3P then it is ionic because H is now a metal and P is a non-metal

  • Phosphine is polar covalent since phosphine have trigonal pyramidal molecular shapes. Thus, phosphine have dipole moment and it is polar. Besides, the bond of P-H is a polar covalent bond because phohorus have high electronegativity that hydrogen and their are sharing electron with each other.

  • I'm not too sure about this but I believe it's polar because if you draw out the lewis structure for it, it has one lone pair of electrons. Also the dipole moment isn't zero so I'd say it's polar.

    It has non-polar bonds though.

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