Difference Between Covalent and Polar Covalent

Covalent bonds are formed with the atoms. A bond can be identified, whether it is covalent or non-covalent, by looking at the periodic table.

Some of the characteristics a non-polar covalent bond should possess are the electrons should be equally shared between the atoms. In non-polar covalent, you will be able to find that the electronegativity difference between them is 0.

Comparison Table Between Covalent and Polar Covalent

Parameters of ComparisonCovalentPolar Covalent
DefinitionThey are chemical bonds that are created by unpaired electrons between the atomsThis is used to name the polar covalent bonds
PolarityCovalent can be sometimes polar and sometimes non-polarPolar covalent are always polar
Charge SeparationThey can have either electronic charge separation or notThey show some slight electronic charge separation
Dipole momentThey can either show or they cannotThey can show the dipole moment
ElectronsElectrons are shared equallyElectrons are not shared equally

What is Covalent?

It is an interatomic linkage when electronic pair is shared between two atoms. This will be formed when they have lower energy than the widespread atoms.

One of the best examples to describe covalent bonds is with the help of carbon dioxide molecules. This molecule has got one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms which makes it very stringer because two electron pairs are shared between them.

This, in turn, will create a long chain and will allow the much-needed complexity in life. Atoms will bond with other atoms in the covalent bond so that they will be able to gain stability.

What is Polar Covalent?

Atoms that share electrons even though they are from different electronegativities are called polar covalent. The partial negative sharing will happen when the bonding pairs are unequally shared.

The best example of polar covalent is water. We can even find whether the bond is polar or non-polar by checking its electronegativity difference. If the electronegativity difference is less than 0.4, then they are considered to be non-polar.

A non-polar covalent bond will be formed when they have two hydrogen atoms, and the electrons will be equally shared. SO2 bond is considered to be a polar covalent bond because you would be able to find the electronegativity difference between sulphur and oxygen atoms.

Main Differences Between Covalent and Polar Covalent

  1. Covalent bonds can either show dipole moment or cannot. On the other hand, polar covalent will always show dipole moment.
  2. In covalent bonds, electrons will be shared equally. On the other hand, in polar covalent, the electrons are not shared equally. 


Both these bond topics are available in the school chemistry curriculum. There they will learn about the types and examples so that they can classify the types with the help of their electronegativity differences.

With the help of proper lab facilities in the higher studies, they will be able to do more research and gain in-depth knowledge on the topic, which will be useful for them in their research area. 


  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp8106183
  2. https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.91.015502
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