Definition of Negative Ions, Characteristics, and Examples

Understanding ions in the study of chemistry is divided into several types, namely positive and negative ions. Both of which have different roles and functions, so whether or not every human life will be recognized will always be involved in these two ionic influences. For more details, we will review related to understanding negative ions, characteristics, and examples.

table of contents

  • Negative Ion
    • Characteristics of Negative Ions
    • Examples of Negative Ions
      • Hydroxide
      • Sulfate
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Negative Ion

Negative ions are electrically charged atoms, or collections of atoms formed by obtaining one or more electrons. The number of protons in the atom in this ion does not change but the extra electron gives it a negative charge.

Negatively charged ions, also known scientifically as anions, are the opposite of positive ions and they have the direct opposite effect on health, mood, and energy levels when we are exposed.

Negative ions in the air have strong negative charges. Because of these properties, they are statically attracted to particles in the air such as dust, mold spores, pet dander and other floating pollutants and potential allergens.

By sticking to these pollutants and allergens, giving them a negative charge and, instead of floating in the air, they are grounded and fall to the nearest floor or surface. Even bacteria and viruses that spin in the air in our homes can be cleaned with negatively charged ions that attach to it and remove it from the air we breathe.

Characteristics of Negative Ions

As for the characteristics that exist in this negative ion, among others are as follows;

  1. Anion (-) comes from the Greek word (ánō), which means “rising”, which can be interpreted as an ion with more electrons than protons, thus giving a net negative charge (because negative electrons are charged and positively charged protons).
  2. By basing on the nature of electrons as explained earlier, anions (negatively charged ions) are larger than the parent molecule or atom, because the excess electrons repel each other and increase the physical size of the ion, because its size is determined by its electron cloud.
  3. Measured by its ionic radius, most of the large anions, like the most common earth anion, are oxygen. anions have radii greater than 1.3 × 10-10 m (1.3 Å). Based on the fact of the difference in size of the radius between the cation and the anion, it seems clear that most of the crystal space occupied by the anion and the cations corresponds to the space between them.
  4. In nature, many negative ions are found, especially in the forest, on the beach and closest to a waterfall, where the crashing water is a natural ion producer. This is a good part of the reason why we usually feel very good in these places and find it difficult to be tired or depressed.
  5. The types of elements are non-metal (non-metal). In chemistry, non-metals (or non-metals) are chemical elements which for the most part have no metal characteristics. Physically, non-metals tend to have relatively low melting points, boiling points, and densities.

Non-metals are usually brittle when solid and usually have poor thermal and electrical conductivity. Chemically, non-metals tend to have relatively high ionisation energies, electron affinity, and electronegativity. They gain or share electrons when they react with other elements and chemical compounds.

Examples of Negative Ions

For some examples that are included in negative ions, including the following;


Hydroxide is a diatomic anion with the chemical formula OH−. It consists of oxygen and hydrogen atoms which are held together by covalent bonds, and carry negative electrical charges. This is an important water element but is usually minor.

Serves as a base, ligand, nucleophile and catalyst. Hydroxide ions form salts, some of which dissociate in aqueous solutions, freeing dissolved hydroxide ions. Sodium hydroxide is a multi-million-ton commodity chemical per year.


Sulfate is a polyatomic anion with the empirical formula SO2−4. Salt, acid derivatives, and sulfuric peroxide are widely used in industry. Sulfate occurs widely in daily life. Sulfuric acid is a salt of sulfuric acid and many are made from that acid.

That was a complete explanation and review to all readers related to the understanding of negative ions , characteristics, and examples. Hopefully, through this material can provide insight and increase knowledge for all readers. Thanks,


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