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  • The covalent radius of fluorine is a measure of the size of a fluorine atom; it is approximated at about 60 picometres. Since fluorine is a relatively small atom with a large electronegativity, its covalent radius is difficult to evaluate. The covalent radius is defined as half the bond lengths between two neutral atoms of the same kind connected with a single bond. By this definition, the covalent radius of F is 71 pm. However, the F-F bond in F₂ is abnormally weak and long. Besides, almost all bonds to fluorine are highly polar because of its large electronegativity, so the use of a covalent radius to predict the length of such a bond is inadequate and the bond lengths calculated from these radii are almost always longer than the experimental values. Bonds to fluorine have considerable ionic character, a result of its small atomic radius and large electronegativity. Therefore, the bond length of F is influenced by its ionic radius, the size of ions in an ionic crystal, which is about 133 pm for fluoride ions. The ionic radius of fluoride is much larger than its covalent radius.