Most atoms do not have actually eight electrons in your valence electron shell. Some atoms have only a few electrons in their external shell, while some atoms lack only one or 2 electrons to have an octet. In cases where an atom has actually three or fewer valence electrons, the atom may shed those valence electron quite conveniently until what continues to be is a reduced shell that includes an octet. Atoms that lose electrons obtain a positive charge as a resultbecause they room left v fewer negatively fee electrons come balance the hopeful charges of the proton in the nucleus. Positively charged ions are dubbed cations. Many metals become cations once they do ionic compounds.

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Cations

A neutral salt atom is likely to accomplish an octet in that outermost covering by losing its one valence electron.

\<\ceNa \rightarrow Na^+ + e^-\>

The cation developed in this way, Na+, is called the salt ion to differentiate it indigenous the element. The outermost shell of the salt ion is the second electron shell, which has eight electrons in it. The octet dominion has been satisfied. Number \(\PageIndex1\) is a graphical depiction of this process.

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

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

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In plenty of cases, elements that belong to the same team (vertical column) ~ above the regular table type ions with the same charge because they have actually the same number of valence electrons. Thus, the regular table becomes a device for psychic the fees on countless ions. Because that example, all ions made native alkali metals, the an initial column on the regular table, have a 1+ charge. Ions made from alkaline planet metals, the second group on the periodic table, have a 2+ charge. Top top the various other side of the routine table, the next-to-last column, the halogens, form ions having actually a 1− charge. Figure \(\PageIndex3\) shows how the fee on numerous ions can be guess by the place of an element on the routine table. Keep in mind the convention of very first writing the number and then the authorize on a ion with multiple charges. The barium cation is created Ba2+, not Ba+2.