Ammonia (NH3) is a compound that is made of nitrogen and hydrogen. It’s a colorless gas and has a strong, pungent smell, which may cause death and lung damage.

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NH3 gas may cause serious health damage and harmful long-term exposure. It exists in the environment and humans naturally.

Its gas is non-flammable that requires a hazardous safety permit.

Are you wondering is NH3 polar or nonpolar? This article will then help you clarify all your confusion about NH3 polarity, its structure, properties, and uses.

The drops of the rains contain small amounts of nitrogen (N2) and ammonium (NH4+).


All about NH3 polarity

The NH3 is a polar molecule due to the large electronegativity difference between nitrogen and hydrogen. The electronegativity of hydrogen is (2.2), and nitrogen is (3.04). So you can recognize it’s the difference from the electronegativity of both atoms, which resulting NH3 is polar.

Explanation 2:

The NH3 is a polar molecule because of its tetrahedral shape and the hydrogen on one side, on the other side due to the lone pair of electrons, high electronegativity difference between nitrogen and hydrogen making NH3 a polar molecule.

Explanation 3:

The NH3 is a polar molecule because it has three dipoles that do not cancel out each other. The electronegativity of nitrogen is more than the hydrogen atom, which pulls the shared electron pair towards the nucleus. It creates a partial positive charge on the hydrogen atom and a negative partial charge on the nitrogen atom. Therefore ammonia is a polar molecule.

Explanation 4:

The NH3 is a polar molecule because the electrical dipole of the molecule is permanent. The charge between nitrogen and the hydrogen atom is distributed unequally, giving a strong dipole moment to the molecule resulting in a polar molecule.

Explanation 5:

The NH3 is a polar molecule because its central atom nitrogen is surrounded by the three hydrogen atoms in a pyramidal shape. In a nitrogen atom, lone pair is associated, making it a proton acceptor. The dipole moment is 1.42 D When ammonia will interact with other and other molecules, which will behave as a polar molecule.


Simple is that ammonia (NH3) is a polar molecule, for knowing the reason in detail checkout the above explanations.

NH3 Molecular Geometry

Shape of NH3

The molecular geometry of NH3 is trigonal pyramidal because there are three bond pairs and one lone pair of electrons, which resulting NH3 is trigonal pyramidal.

The reason why ammonia (NH3) looks like a pyramid; it’s because one of its ends is occupied with a lone pair that does not contribute to the structure.

The ammonia has 5 valence electrons that are bonded with three hydrogen atoms to complete the octet. When the central N atom is bonded with three atoms, it makes a pyramid shape molecule. In ammonia, due to lone pair in the nitrogen atom resulting in a trigonal pyramidal shape.


Simple is that the shape of the ammonia is trigonal pyramidal.

NH3 Lewis Structure

Ammonia Lewis structure

To draw the Nh3 Lewis structure, follow the below instructions.

First of all, find out the total number of valence electrons in the NH3 using the periodic table.The nitrogen is in group 5 or 15 in the periodic table, so it has five valence electrons.The hydrogen is in group 1 in the periodic table, so it has one valence electron, but NH3 has three hydrogens. Multiple three with one that becomes 1(3)=3.Now find out the total valence electrons in NH3. Add both nitrogen and hydrogen valence electrons, which becomes 5+3= 8. We have a total of eight valence electrons.Put the nitrogen atom in the center and hydrogen around it. The hydrogen atom always goes on the outside.Add valence electrons to make a chemical bond between hydrogen and nitrogen.The hydrogen needs two valence electrons to have a full outer shell, use all valence electrons to complete its octet.Ensure each of the hydrogens has two valence electrons.

That was all about the Lewis structure of NH3. Did you not understand the above points? Watch this video.

NH3 Hybridization – SP3

The hybridization of NH3 is sp3 because, in NH3, the nitrogen atom has five valence electrons, and we place them at the center. The hydrogen atom has one valence electron, but we have three hydrogen atoms, so multiplying 1(3) becomes three valence electrons. 

Now we know that NH3 have eight valence electrons, so divide it by two, which becomes 5+3= 8/2= 4

The 4 orbitals clearly show that ammonia (NH3) has sp3 hybridization.

The NH3 has 3 bond pairs and one lone pair, which becomes 3+1= 4

From 4 orbitals, it means that NH3 has sp3 hybridization.


Simple is that ammonia has sp3 hybridization.

Is NH3 Covalent Or Ionic

What kind of bond is NH3? The NH3 has a polar covalent bond because it has a single covalent bond between nitrogen and hydrogen atoms.

The NH3 has not a double. It contains only one sigma bond. In ammonia, the nitrogen has five valence electrons, which use three to make a single covalent bond. The remaining two electrons present in the nitrogen as a lone pair.


Ammonia (NH3) is covalent bond.

NH3 Electron Geometry

The electron geometry of NH3 is tetrahedral, and it has four groups of electrons. The central atom in the ammonia N has a shared and unshared pair of electrons.

The electron density of the nitrogen atom has 4 regions with 3 bonds and one lone pair of electrons. All these are arranged in a tetrahedral shape.

If you are still confused, read more about NH3 electron geometry practically in this video.


NH3 electron geometry is tetrahedral.

Dipole Moment Of NH3
NH3 & NF3

The dipole moment of NH3 is 1.46 D, and it has three dipoles because NH3 has three hydrogen bonds that do not cancel out each other and form a net dipole moment.

Many people are confused about NH3 and NF3 dipole moment that which one has a high dipole moment, so let’s move it.

If you look at the NH3 and NF3 structures, you might be considered that NF3 has a high dipole moment than NH3 because, in NF3, the F is more electronegative, but NH3 has a high dipole moment than NF3. 

Do you know that in NH3, N has more electronegative than H? It’s because N pushes the electrons to itself towards H. Therefore, this is the instantaneous direction because the N-H bond’s direction is the same as the direction of a pair of isolated electrons in nitrogen.

In NF3, F is more negative than N. Therefore. All F atoms attract electrons. This net moment is opposite to the direction of the electron pair in the “N” atom, and the net dipole decreases; therefore, NH3 has a higher dipole moment than NF3.

Properties Of Ammonia (NH3)

The chemical formula of ammonia is NH3.Its molar mass is 17.031 g/mol.The NH3 has a colorless gas with a pungent smell, and it is lighter than air.The liquids of ammonia boiled at −33.3 °C (−27.94 °F) and freeze it −77.7 °C (−107.86 °F).It is readily dissolved in water.The ammonia does not burn immediately.

Above are the properties of ammonia (NH3).

Uses Of Ammonia (NH3)

Ammonia is used in agriculture as a fertilizer.It is used for the purification of water.It is used in the manufacture of plastic.It is also used as a refrigerant gas.

Above are the few uses of NH3.

Final Thoughts

That was all about is NH3 polar or nonpolar. I hope it’s now clear to you that NH3 is a polar molecule because of its electronegativity difference between nitrogen and hydrogen.

The molecular geometry of NH3 is trigonal pyramidal. To draw the Lewis structure of NH3, follow the above instructions or watch the above video.

Ammonia (NH3) has sp3 hybridization. In NH3, nitrogen has five valence electrons, and hydrogen has one valence electron, but the total valence electrons in NH3 is eight.

If we divide eight by two, it becomes 4, and 4 orbitals stand for sp3 hybridization.

The electronic geometry of NH3 is tetrahedral, and the ammonia dipole moment value is 1.46 D.

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