Consider a covalent molecule such as carbon tetrafluoride. In $\ce{CF4}$, each $\ce{C-F}$ bond is polar covalent. However, this substance is considered overall non-polar because each bond dipole moment cancels out each other, resulting in a negligible molecular dipole moment. This explains why it is non-polar. But how can that be the case? Certainly, such a substance with such strong bond dipoles would have some sort of strong interaction with polar solvents? Why do we not take the individual bond dipole moments into consideration?

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    $\begingroup$ Related: Why is carbon dioxide nonpolar?; What are dipole moments in a molecule supposed to act upon? $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol
    Sep 24, 2017 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol Just to clarify, I completely understand why CF4 is nonpolar. What I don't understand is why the polar C-F bonds don't seem to affect it's interactions with polar solvents. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2017 at 11:42
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's based on false premise. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Sep 24, 2017 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ @PrittBalagopal You can actually extend my question to all nonpolar covalent molecules with polar individual bond dipole moments. It is not restricted to CF4 or CO2. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2017 at 22:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Mithoron Thanks for sharing the insightful link. However, I don't think it answers my question $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2017 at 14:56


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