Put the following elements in order from most electronegative to least:
A. fluorine, nitrogen, chlorine, oxygen
B. fluorine, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine
C. nitrogen, chlorine, oxygen, fluorine
D. nitrogen, oxygen, chlorine, fluorine
B. is correct. Fluorine (4.0), oxygen (3.5), nitrogen (3.0), and chlorine (3.0). These elements are often paired with hydrogen (2.1) and carbon (2.5), resulting in bonds with partial ionic character. The dipole moment is a measure of the charge separation and thus, the electronegativities of the elements that make up the bond; the larger the dipole moment, the larger the charge separation. No dipole moment is found in molecules with no charge separation between atoms (i.e. Cl2
), or, when the charge separation is symmetric resulting in a cancellation of bond polarity like vector addition in physics (i.e. CH4, CO2).
(this multiple choice question has been scrambled)