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Chapter 2

Q. 2.4

Predicting the Charge of Ions

Predict the charges of the monoatomic (single atom) ions formed by these maingroup elements.

(a) Al     (b) S

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Verified Solution

(a) Aluminum is a main-group metal and tends to lose electrons to form a cation with the same number of electrons as the nearest noble gas. Aluminum atoms have 13 electrons and the nearest noble gas is neon, which has 10 electrons. Aluminum therefore loses three electrons to form a cation with a 3+ charge (AL^{3+} ).

(b) Sulfur is a nonmetal and tends to gain electrons to form an anion with the same number of electrons as the nearest noble gas. Sulfur atoms have 16 electrons and the nearest noble gas is argon, which has 18 electrons. Sulfur therefore gains two electrons to form an anion with a 2charge (S^{2-}).