The electrostatic attraction between the positives and negatives brings the particles together and creates an ionic compound, such as sodium chloride. It can be possible to predict whether an atom will form a cation or an anion based on its position on the periodic table. A metal reacts with a nonmetal to form an ionic bond. 5H2O. Notice that these cations can have more than one name. Examples include the name of water, H2O, which is dihydrogen monoxide, and the name of NO, which is nitrogen dioxide. The VA elements gain three electrons to form anions with a 3- charge. It’s more difficult to determine the number of electrons that members of the transition metals (the B families) lose. Cations (positively-charged ions) and anions (negatively-charged ions) are formed when a metal loses electrons, and a nonmetal gains those electrons. The only polyatomic cation that you need to memorise is the ammonium cation. Its chemical formula is NH 4 +, which shows that each ion is made up of 1 nitrogen atom and 4 hydrogen atoms. Salts are compounds composed of cations bonded to anions. The resulting compound carries a neutral electrical charge. Cations can also be polyatomic, if they are made up of multiple atoms covalently bonded. Ferrocyanide Fe(CN)64-, Pyrophosphate P2O74-, Silicate SiO44-, Silicide Si4-, Antimonide Sb3-, Arsenate AsO43-, Arsenide As3-, Borate BO33-, Boride B3-, Citrate C6H5O73-, Hypophosphite PO23-, Nitride N3-, Perphosphate PO53-, Phosphate PO43-, Phosphide P3-, Phosphite PO33-, Arsenite AsO32-, Benzoate C7H5O22-, Carbonate CO32-, Dichromate Cr2O72-, Hydrogen Phosphate HPO42-, Hydrogen Phosphite HPO32-, Hyposulfite SO22-, Metasilicate SiO32-, Metatitanate TiO32-, Molybdate MoO32-, Orthomolybdate MoO42-, Oxalate C2O42-, Oxide O2-, Percarbonate CO42-, Peroxide O22-, Persulfate S2O82-, Phthalate C8H4O42-, Selenate SeO42-, Selenide Se2-, Selenite SeO32-, Sulfate SO42-, Sulfide S2-, Sulfite SO32-, Tartrate C4H4O62-, Tellurate TeO42-, Telluride Te2-, Tellurite TeO32-, Thiosulfate S2O32-, Titanate TiO32-, Tungstate WO42-, Acetate CH3COO-, Aluminate AlO2-, Bromate BrO3-, Bromide Br-, Bromite BrO2-, Chlorate ClO3-, Chloride Cl-, Chlorite ClO2-, Chromate CrO4-, Cyanate OCN-, Cyanide CN-, Dihydrogen Phosphate H2PO4-, Dihydrogen Phosphite H2PO3-, Fluorate FO3-, Fluoride F-, Fluorite FO2-, Formate HCOO-, Hydride H-, Hydrogen Carbonate HCO3-, Hydrogen Oxalate HC2O4-, Hydrogen Sulfate HSO4-, Hydrogen Sulfite HSO3-, Hydroxide OH-, Hypobromite BrO-, Hypochlorite ClO-, Hypofluorite FO-, Hypoiodite IO-, Iodate IO3-, Iodide I-, Iodite IO2-, Metaniobate NbO3-, Metavanadate VO3-, Nitrate NO3-, Nitrite NO2-, Perbromate BrO4-, Perchlorate ClO4-, Perfluorate FO4-, Periodate IO4-, Permanganate MnO4-, Thiocyanate SCN-, Ammonium NH4+, Cesium Cs+, Copper Cu+, Ethyl C2H5+, Francium Fr+, Gold Au+, Hydrogen H+, Lithium Li+, Mercury Hg+, Potassium K+, Rubidium Rb+, Sodium Na+, Barium Ba+2, Beryllium Be+2, Cadmium Cd+2, Calcium Ca+2, Cobalt Co+2, Copper Cu+2, Gallium Ga+2, Iron Fe+2, Lead Pb+2, Magnesium Mg+2, Mercury Hg+2, Polonium Po+2, Radium Ra+2, Titanium Ti+2, Uranyl UO2+2, Ytterbium Yb+2, Zinc Zn+2, Aluminum Al+3, Antimony Sb+3, Bismuth Bi+3, Cobalt Co+3, Gallium Ga+3, Gold Au+3, Iron Fe+3, Scandium Sc+3, Titanium Ti+3, Ytterbium Yb+3, Yttrium Y+3, Lead Pb+4, Polonium Po+4, Silicon Si+4, Titanium Ti+4, Zirconium Zr+4. Assigning Oxidation States Example Problem. This formula is called the "formula unit" since it represents only one unit of the vast NaCl array or lattice. You can often […] What is the Difference Between an Atom and an Ion? The same prefixes are applied to indicate the quantities of cation or anion atoms. You can often determine the charge an ion normally has by the element’s position on the periodic table: The alkali metals (the IA elements) lose a single electron to form a cation with a 1+ charge. Most other metals form cations (e.g. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. The electrostatic attraction between the positives and negatives brings the particles together and creates an ionic compound, such as sodium chloride. Formulas for Ionic Compounds The atoms in molecules bond to one another through "sharing"of electrons. What Are the Rules for Assigning Oxidation Numbers? A metal reacts with a nonmetal to form an ionic bond. Symbol H+ Li+ Na+ K+ Rb+ Cs+ Pb4+ Mg2+ Ca2+ Co2+ Ba2+ Ag+ Ra2+ Ni2+ Zn2+ Cu+ Name hydrogen ion lithium ion sodium ion potassium ion rubidium ion cesium ion lead(IV) plumbic magnesium ion calcium ion cobalt(II) cobaltous barium ion silver ion radium ion nickel ion zinc ion copper(I) cuprous Cations Symbol Hg22+ Hg2+ Fe2+ Fe3+ Pb2+ Be2+ Sn2+ Sn4+ Sr2+ … The alkaline earth metals (IIA elements) lose two electrons to form a 2+ cation. The next table shows some common transition metals that have more than one oxidation state. Cation anion list. Writing Formulas of Salts . In fact, many of these elements lose a varying number of electrons so that they form two or more cations with different charges. And all of them form an anion with a single negative charge. Precipitate Definition and Example in Chemistry, Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. The second table gives the same information for some common monoatomic anions. The electrical charge that an atom achieves is sometimes called its oxidation state. All the halogens gain a single electron to fill their valence energy level. The current way of naming ions is to use the metal name, such as Chromium, followed in parentheses by the ionic charge written as a Roman numeral, such as (II). Combining cations and anions to form binary inorganic compounds is simple. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, The Difference Between a Cation and an Anion. The composition of salts with polyatomic ions is determined by the same rule as with monatomic ions. The halogens (VIIA elements) all have seven valence electrons. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. In general, the name follows the rule: (group prefixes)(longest carbon chain prefix)(highest root bond)(most important group suffix). The VIA elements gain two electrons to form anions with a 2- charge. Cation vs anion periodic table. For example, table salt, or sodium chloride, consists of the Na + cation bonded to the Cl-anion to form NaCl.

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