Which one of the following has the highest dipole moment?

(i) CH2Cl2

(ii) CHCl3

(iii) CCl4

(i)

Dichlormethane (CH2Cl2)

μ = 1.60D

(ii)

Chloroform (CHCl3)

μ = 1.08D

(iii)

Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)

μ = 0D

CCl4 is a symmetrical molecule. Therefore, the dipole moments of all four C−Cl bonds cancel each other. Hence, its resultant dipole moment is zero.

As shown in the above figure, in CHCl3, the resultant of dipole moments of two C−Cl bonds is opposed by the resultant of dipole moments of one C−H bond and one C−Cl bond. Since the resultant of one C−H bond and one C−Cl bond dipole moments is smaller than two C−Cl bonds, the opposition is to a small extent. As a result, CHCl3 has a small dipole moment of 1.08 D.

On the other hand, in case of CH2Cl2, the resultant of the dipole moments of two C−Cl bonds is strengthened by the resultant of the dipole moments of two C−H bonds. As a result, CH2Cl2 has a higher dipole moment of 1.60 D than CHCl3 i.e., CH2Cl2 has the highest dipole moment.

Hence, the given compounds can be arranged in the increasing order of their dipole moments as:

CCl4 < CHCl3 < CH2Cl2

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