To explain the qualities of ionic bonding. To quantitatively describe the energetic factors involved in the development of an ionic bond.

You are watching: How does an atom become a positively charged ion

Ions are atoms or molecules which room electrically charged. Cations space positively charged and anions carry a an unfavorable charge. Ions form when atoms get or lose electrons. Due to the fact that electrons room negatively charged, one atom the loses one or more electrons will end up being positively charged; one atom the gains one or much more electrons i do not care negatively charged. Ionic bonding is the attraction in between positively- and negatively-charged ions. This oppositely charged ions entice each various other to form ionic networks (or lattices). Electrostatics defines why this happens: opposite fees attract and also like fees repel. When plenty of ions entice each other, they type large, ordered, crystal lattices in which each ion is surrounding by ion of the opposite charge. Generally, when steels react v non-metals, electrons room transferred from the metals to the non-metals. The metals form positively-charged ions and the non-metals kind negatively-charged ions.

Generating Ionic Bonds

Ionic bonds type when metals and non-metals ptcouncil.netically react. By definition, a metal is fairly stable if it loser electrons to type a finish valence shell and becomes positively charged. Likewise, a non-metal becomes steady by obtaining electrons to finish its valence shell and become negative charged. As soon as metals and also non-metals react, the metals lose electrons by transporting them to the non-metals, which acquire them. Consequently, ions are formed, which instantly entice each other—ionic bonding.

In the overall ionic compound, positive and an adverse charges should be balanced, since electrons cannot be developed or destroyed, just transferred. Thus, the total number of electrons shed by the cationic varieties must same the total number of electrons gained by the anionic species.

Example (PageIndex1): salt Chloride

For example, in the reaction of Na (sodium) and Cl (chlorine), every Cl atom bring away one electron indigenous a Na atom. As such each Na becomes a Na+ cation and also each Cl atom becomes a Cl- anion. Because of their opposite charges, they attract each various other to form an ionic lattice. The formula (ratio of hopeful to an adverse ions) in the lattice is (ceNaCl).

These ions space arranged in heavy NaCl in a continual three-dimensional plan (or lattice):


NaCl lattice. (left) 3-D structure and (right) simple 2D slice v lattes. Pictures used through permission indigenous Wikipedia and Mike Blaber.

The chlorine has actually a high affinity for electrons, and the sodium has a low ionization energy. Hence the chlorine profit an electron native the salt atom. This have the right to be represented using ewis dot icons (here us will consider one chlorine atom, rather than Cl2):

, the power of the electrostatic attraction ((E)) in between two charged particles is proportional to the size of the charges and also inversely proportional come the internuclear distance in between the particles ((r)):

< E = kdfracQ_1Q_2r labelEq1b >

where each ion’s charge is stood for by the prize Q. The proportionality continuous k is equal to 2.31 × 10−28 J·m. This worth of k has the charge of a solitary electron (1.6022 × 10−19 C) for each ion. The equation can likewise be written using the charge of each ion, express in coulombs (C), included in the constant. In this case, the proportionality constant, k, amounts to 8.999 × 109 J·m/C2. In the instance given, Q1 = +1(1.6022 × 10−19 C) and Q2 = −1(1.6022 × 10−19 C). If Q1 and also Q2 have actually opposite indications (as in NaCl, because that example, whereby Q1 is +1 because that Na+ and Q2 is −1 because that Cl−), climate E is negative, which means that power is released when oppositely charged ion are brought together indigenous an boundless distance to kind an diverted ion pair.

Energy is constantly released when a shortcut is formed and correspondingly, it always requires power to break a bond.

As displayed by the eco-friendly curve in the lower half of number (PageIndex1), the maximum energy would be released as soon as the ions space infinitely close to every other, in ~ r = 0. Since ions occupy an are and have a structure with the optimistic nucleus being surrounded by electrons, however, they cannot be infinitely near together. At an extremely short distances, repulsive electron–electron interactions between electrons on nearby ions end up being stronger 보다 the attractive interactions between ions through opposite charges, as shown by the red curve in the upper fifty percent of figure (PageIndex1). The complete energy the the mechanism is a balance between the attractive and repulsive interactions. The violet curve in number (PageIndex1) reflects that the full energy of the system reaches a minimum in ~ r0, the point where the electrostatic repulsions and also attractions are specifically balanced. This street is the very same as the experimentally measure up bond distance.

Figure (PageIndex1): A Plot the Potential energy versus Internuclear street for the Interaction between a gaseous Na+ Ion and also a gaseous Cl− Ion. The power of the device reaches a minimum at a certain distance (r0) as soon as the attractive and also repulsive interactions space balanced.

Consider the power released when a gaseous (Na^+) ion and also a gaseous (Cl^-) ion are carried together indigenous r = ∞ to r = r0. Given that the it was observed gas-phase internuclear street is 236 pm, the energy adjust associated through the development of one ion pair indigenous an (Na^+_(g)) ion and a (Cl^-_(g)) ion is together follows:

< eginalign* E &= kdfracQ_1Q_2r_0 \<4pt> &= (2.31 imes 10^ - 28 mJcdot cancelm ) left( dfrac( + 1)( - 1)236; cancelpm imes 10^ - 12 cancelm/pm ight) \<4pt> &= - 9.79 imes 10^ - 19; J/ion; pair labelEq2 endalign*>

The an unfavorable value indicates that energy is released. Ours convention is the if a ptcouncil.netical process provides power to the exterior world, the energy change is negative. If it calls for energy, the energy change is positive. To calculation the energy change in the formation of a mole that NaCl pairs, we have to multiply the power per ion pair by Avogadro’s number:

< E=left ( -9.79 imes 10^ - 19; J/ cancelion pair ight )left ( 6.022 imes 10^ 23; cancelion; pair/mol ight )=-589; kJ/mol labelEq3 >

This is the energy released as soon as 1 mol of gaseous ion bag is formed, not when 1 mol of confident and negative ions condenses to form a crystalline lattice. Since of long-range interactions in the lattice structure, this energy does not correspond straight to the lattice energy of the crystalline solid. However, the big negative value shows that bringing positive and an adverse ions together is energetically very favorable, whether an ion pair or a crystalline lattice is formed.

We summary the important points about ionic bonding:

in ~ r0, the ion are much more stable (have a reduced potential energy) 보다 they space at an infinite internuclear distance. Once oppositely charged ion are brought together from r = ∞ to r = r0, the energy of the device is lower (energy is released). Since of the low potential power at r0, power must be added to the system to separate the ions. The lot of energy needed is the bond energy. The power of the mechanism reaches a minimum in ~ a particular internuclear distance (the shortcut distance).

Example (PageIndex2): LiF

Calculate the lot of energy released once 1 mol of gas Li+F− ion pairs is developed from the be separated ions. The observed internuclear distance in the gas phase is 156 pm.

Given: cation and also anion, amount, and also internuclear distance

Asked for: energy released from development of gas ion pairs


Substitute the suitable values into Equation ( efEq1b) to attain the energy released in the formation of a solitary ion pair and then main point this worth by Avogadro’s number to attain the power released every mole.


Inserting the worths for Li+F− into Equation ( efEq1b) (where Q1 = +1, Q2 = −1, and r = 156 pm), we uncover that the energy associated with the formation of a single pair the Li+F− ions is

< eginalign* E &=k dfracQ_1Q_2r_0 \<4pt> &=left(2.31 imes 10^−28 J⋅cancelm ight) left(dfrac ext(+1)(−1)156; pm imes 10^−12 cancelm/pm ight)\<4pt> &=−1.48 imes 10^−18 endalign*>

Then the power released every mole of Li+F− ion bag is

< eginalign* E&= left(−1.48 imes 10^−18 J/ cancel extion pair ight) left(6.022 imes 10^23 cancel extion pair/mol ight)\<4pt> &−891 ;kJ/mol endalign*>

Because Li+ and also F− are smaller than Na+ and Cl− (see ar 7.3), the internuclear street in LiF is much shorter than in NaCl. Consequently, in accordance v Equation ( efEq1b), much much more energy is released when 1 mol of gaseous Li+F− ion pairs is developed (−891 kJ/mol) than when 1 mol of gas Na+Cl− ion bag is formed (−589 kJ/mol).

Electron construction of Ions

How go the energy released in lattice formation compare come the energy required to strip away a second electron from the Na+ ion? since the Na+ ion has actually a noble gas electron configuration, stripping far the following electron native this stable plan would require much more energy 보다 what is released during lattice formation (Sodium I2 = 4,560 kJ/mol). Thus, salt is present in ionic compounds together Na+ and not Na2+. Likewise, including an electron to to fill a valence shell (and achieve noble gas electron configuration) is exothermic or just slightly endothermic. To add an additional electron right into a new subshell requires tremendous power - an ext than the lattice energy. Thus, we find Cl- in ionic compounds, however not Cl2-.

Table (PageIndex1): Lattice energies range from around 700 kJ/mol to 4000 kJ/mol: CompoundLattice power (kJ/mol)
LiF 1024
LiI 744
NaF 911
NaCl 788
NaI 693
KF 815
KBr 682
KI 641
MgF2 2910
SrCl2 2130
MgO 3938

This quantity of energy can compensate for values as large as I3 because that valence electron (i.e. Deserve to strip away as much as 3 valence electrons). Since most transition metals would need the removed of more than 3 electrons to attain a noble gas core, they room not discovered in ionic compounds v a noble gas core. A shift metal always loses electrons first from the higher "s" subshell, prior to losing indigenous the basic "d" subshell. (The staying electrons in the unfilled d subshell are the reason for the glowing colors it was observed in many shift metal compounds!) because that example, steel ions will certainly not form a noble gas core:

Fe: 4s23d6 Fe2+: 3d6 Fe3+: 3d5

Some steel ions can type a pseudo noble gas main point (and be colorless), because that example:

Ag: 5s14d10 Ag+ 4d10 Compound: AgCl Cd: 5s24d10 Cd2+ 4d10 Compound: CdS

The valence electrons do not adhere come the "octet rule" in this instance (a limitation of the usefulness of this rule). Note: The silver and cadmium atoms shed the 5s electrons in achieve the ionic state.

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When a confident ion is created from one atom, electrons are always lost first from the subshell v the largest principle quantum number

Polyatomic Ions

Not all ionic compound are created from only two elements. Countless polyatomic ions exist, in which 2 or an ext atoms space bound with each other by covalent bonds. They type a stable grouping i m sorry carries a fee (positive or negative). The team of atoms as a totality acts together a charged species in forming an ionic compound through an oppositely charged ion. Polyatomic ions may be either confident or negative, for example:

NH4+ (ammonium) = cation SO42- (sulfate) = anion

The principles of ionic bonding v polyatomic ions space the very same as those through monatomic ions. Oppositely charged ions come together to type a crystalline lattice, publication a lattice energy. Based on the shapes and charges the the polyatomic ions, this compounds may kind crystalline lattices with amazing and facility structures.