Most atoms do not have actually eight electrons in their valence electron shell. Some atoms have actually only a few electrons in their external shell, while part atoms absence only one or 2 electrons to have actually an octet. In situations where one atom has actually three or fewer valence electrons, the atom may shed those valence electrons quite quickly until what stays is a lower shell that contains an octet. Atoms that lose electrons get a hopeful charge together a resultbecause they room left through fewer negatively fee electrons come balance the confident charges the the proton in the nucleus. Positively charged ions are dubbed cations. Many metals become cations as soon as they do ionic compounds.

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Cations

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

The cation produced in this way, Na+, is referred to as the salt ion to differentiate it native the element. The outermost shell of the salt ion is the second electron shell, which has eight electron in it. The octet dominion has been satisfied. Figure (PageIndex1) is a graphical relenten of this process.

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

The names for confident and an unfavorable ions are pronounced CAT-eye-ons and also ANN-eye-ons, respectively.

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In countless cases, facets that belong to the same team (vertical column) on the periodic table kind ions with the exact same charge since they have actually the same number of valence electrons. Thus, the routine table becomes a tool for psychic the charges on many ions. Because that example, all ion made from alkali metals, the very first column top top the periodic table, have a 1+ charge. Ions made indigenous alkaline planet metals, the second group top top the routine table, have a 2+ charge. On the various other side of the periodic table, the next-to-last column, the halogens, type ions having actually a 1− charge. Number (PageIndex3) shows how the charge on many ions have the right to be suspect by the ar of an aspect on the regular table. Note the convention of an initial writing the number and also then the sign on a ion through multiple charges. The barium cation is written Ba2+, no Ba+2.