Question

Choose the correct option according to increasing order of covalent character:

  • NaCl < CaCl2 < SnCl2 < SnCl4
  • CaCl2 < SnCl2 < SnCl4 < NaCl
  • SnCl2 < SnCl4 < CaCl2 < NaCl
  • SnCl4 < SnCl2 < CaCl2 < NaCl

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Answer

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The correct option is A. $\mathrm{NaCl}<\mathrm{CaCl}{2}<\mathrm{SnCl}{2}<\mathrm{SnCl}_{4}$.

The compounds $\mathrm{NaCl}$ and $\mathrm{CaCl}_{2}$ are predominantly ionic. In comparison, $\mathrm{SnCl}_{4}$, having an $\mathrm{Sn}$ atom in the +4 oxidation state, exhibits greater covalent character than $\mathrm{SnCl}_{2}$, due to the +2 oxidation state of $\mathrm{Sn}$ in $\mathrm{SnCl}_{2}$.

This is explained by Fajan's Rule of Polarization, which states that a smaller cation size increases polarizing power, leading to a more covalent character in the bond. Thus, we observe the following order for increasing covalent character:

$$ \mathrm{NaCl}<\mathrm{CaCl}{2}<\mathrm{SnCl}{2}<\mathrm{SnCl}_{4} $$


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