Examples of Anions and Cations

The ions are atoms or molecules that ceased to be neutral and have an electric charge, ie are electrically charged particles. To acquire electrical charge, neutral particles must give up or accept electrons.

Ions can be:

  • Cations . They have a net electrical charge that can be positive (where the neutral atom has lost one or more electrons). For example: cesium cation, mercury cation.
  • Anions . They have a negative electrical charge (where the neutral atom has gained one or more electrons). For example: oxide anion, sulfide anion.

The ions of opposite sign can be joined to form chemical bonds, such as ionic bond , which is formed when different sign ions attract electrostatically. This type of bond is strong and ionic compounds form crystalline structures.

  • It can serve you: Mineral salts

Examples of anions

The anions, in turn, can be:

  • Monatomic anions . They are made up of a single atom and have a single negative oxidation state . They are usually nonmetals whose neutral atoms have gained one or more electrons.
  • Polyatomic anions . They are made up of a set of atoms whose oxidation state can vary in each individual atom, but the set as a whole has a single oxidation state. They are acids that lost protons or molecules that gained electrons.

The following list exemplifies a series of anions that are frequent in nature, highlighting their oxidation number:

Monatomic anions

  1. Hydride Anion (H  )
  2. Oxide Anion (O 2- )
  3. Fluoride Anion (F  )
  4. Chloride Anion (Cl  )
  5. Bromide Anion (Br  )
  6. Iodide Anion (Br  )
  7. Sulfide Anion (S 2- )

Polyatomic anions

  1. Oxoclorate (I) or hypochlorous anion (ClO  )
  2. Chloric trioxochloride (V) anion (ClO  )
  3. Dioxobromate (III) or bromous anion (BrO  )
  4. Tetraoxobromate (VII) or perbromic anion (BrO  )
  5. Oxoiodate (I) or hypoiodine (IO  ) anion
  6. Trioxosulfate (IV) or sulfite (SO 2- ) anion

Examples of cations

The cations are the positive ions that are characterized by having a deficiency of electrons in the outermost orbitals. These are usually metals, although sometimes there are non-metals that act as cations.

The size of these cations is smaller than that of neutral atoms and anions, because the loss of electrons occurs specifically in the outermost part.

The following list shows some common cations and groups them according to their oxidation number

Cations with oxidation number 1+

  1. Cesium Cation (Cs + )
  2. Copper (I) or cuprous (Cu + ) cation
  3. Lithium cation (Li + )
  4. Potassium cation (K + )

Cations with oxidation number 2+

  1. Cation cobalt (II) or cobalt (Co 2+ )
  2. Copper (II) or cupric (Cu 2+ ) cation
  3. Mercury (II) or mercuric (Hg 2+ ) cation
  4. Lead (II) or plumbous cation (Pb 2+ )
  5. Nickel (II) or nickel (Ni 2+ ) cation
  6. Tin (II) or stannous (Sn 2+ ) cation

Cations with oxidation number 3+

  1. Nickel (III) or nickel (Ni 3+ ) cation
  2. Magnanese (III) or manganous cation (Mn 3+ )
  3. Chromium (III) or chromate (Cr 3+ ) cation

Cations with oxidation number greater than 3+

  1. Lead (IV) or lead cation (Pb 4+ )
  2. Manganese (IV) or manganic cation (Mn 4+ )
  3. Chromium (VI) or chromic (Cr 6+ ) cation
  4. Manganese (VII) or permanganic (Mn 7+ ) cation
  5. Tin (IV) or stannic (Sn 4+ ) cation


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