IB Chemistry home > Syllabus 2016 > Structure and bonding > Polarity

Syllabus ref: 4.2

The term 'polarity' refers to a separation of electrical charge. This chapter examines how this separation can come about and its consequences in molecules.

Nature of science:

Pauling used the idea of electronegativity to explain unequal sharing of electrons.


A covalent bond is formed by the electrostatic attraction between a shared pair of electrons and the positively charged nuclei.

Bond polarity results from the difference in electronegativities of the bonded atoms.

Applications and skills

Deduction of the polar nature of a covalent bond from electronegativity values.

In Chapter 2.3