Understanding Carbon Tetrabromide Intermolecular Forces In Chemistry

Tetrabromomethane, CBr4, Carbon Bromide Stock Vector Illustration of


Carbon tetrabromide is a chemical compound with the molecular formula CBr4. It is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor and is widely used in different industries. In this article, we will discuss the intermolecular forces of carbon tetrabromide and their importance in chemistry.

What are Intermolecular Forces?

Intermolecular forces are the attractive forces between the molecules of a substance. These forces play a significant role in determining the physical and chemical properties of a substance. The different types of intermolecular forces are London dispersion forces, dipole-dipole forces, and hydrogen bonding.

Types of Intermolecular Forces in Carbon Tetrabromide

Carbon tetrabromide has four bromine atoms and a central carbon atom. The carbon-bromine bonds are polar, which means that there is a separation of charge between the atoms. The bromine atoms have a partial negative charge, while the carbon atom has a partial positive charge. This polarity gives rise to dipole-dipole forces. In addition to dipole-dipole forces, carbon tetrabromide also exhibits London dispersion forces. These forces arise due to temporary dipole moments in the molecule. The bromine atoms in carbon tetrabromide are larger than the carbon atom, which causes an uneven distribution of electrons. This uneven distribution results in temporary charges on the atoms, leading to London dispersion forces.

Impact of Intermolecular Forces on Physical and Chemical Properties

The intermolecular forces in carbon tetrabromide affect its physical and chemical properties. For example, the strong intermolecular forces result in a high boiling point and low vapor pressure. Also, the dipole-dipole forces and London dispersion forces make carbon tetrabromide a non-polar solvent, which is useful in organic chemistry.

Applications of Carbon Tetrabromide Intermolecular Forces

The intermolecular forces in carbon tetrabromide have several applications in different industries. For example, it is used as a flame retardant in plastics and textiles due to its ability to inhibit combustion. It is also used in organic synthesis as a reagent for converting alcohols to alkyl bromides.


Carbon tetrabromide is a toxic substance and can cause severe health problems if ingested or inhaled. Therefore, it should be handled with care, and protective equipment should be worn when working with it.


In conclusion, the intermolecular forces in carbon tetrabromide play a vital role in determining its physical and chemical properties. Understanding these forces is essential in different industries, where carbon tetrabromide is used. However, it is crucial to handle this substance with care due to its toxic nature.