Most atoms execute not have actually eight electron in their valence electron shell. Some atoms have actually only a couple of electrons in their external shell, while some atoms absence only one or two electrons to have actually an octet. In instances where an atom has three or fewer valence electrons, the atom may lose those valence electron quite easily until what stays is a lower shell that has an octet. Atom that shed electrons acquire a positive charge together a resultbecause they room left v fewer negatively charged electrons to balance the confident charges that the proton in the nucleus. Positive charged ion are dubbed cations. Most metals come to be cations when they do ionic compounds.

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Cations

A neutral sodium atom is most likely to attain an octet in the outermost covering by losing its one valence electron.

The cation produced in this way, Na+, is dubbed the salt ion to distinguish it from the element. The outermost covering of the salt ion is the second electron shell, which has actually eight electron in it. The octet preeminence has been satisfied. Figure (PageIndex1) is a graphical explicate of this process.

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api/deki/files/114134/3.2B.jpg?revision=1" />Figure (PageIndex2): The formation of a Chlorine Ion. Top top the left, the chlorine atom has 17 electrons. On the right, the chloride ion has 18 electrons and also has a 1− charge.

The name for positive and an adverse ions space pronounced CAT-eye-ons and ANN-eye-ons, respectively.

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In plenty of cases, aspects that belong come the same group (vertical column) top top the periodic table form ions v the same charge since they have actually the same number of valence electrons. Thus, the routine table becomes a device for remembering the fees on many ions. Because that example, all ions made native alkali metals, the first column on the periodic table, have actually a 1+ charge. Ions made from alkaline earth metals, the 2nd group top top the routine table, have actually a 2+ charge. On the various other side the the routine table, the next-to-last column, the halogens, type ions having actually a 1− charge. Number (PageIndex3) shows exactly how the charge on plenty of ions deserve to be guess by the place of an facet on the regular table. Note the convention of an initial writing the number and also then the authorize on a ion v multiple charges. The barium cation is written Ba2+, no Ba+2.