Why do metals typically form positively-charged ions?

1 Answer
Aug 1, 2017

Answer:

Why? Well metals are in general #"reducing agents....."#

Explanation:

Why? Well metals are in general #"reducing agents....."# That is metals are electron-rich species, and undergo the following oxidation reaction....

#M rarr M^(2+) + 2e^(-)#

On the other hand, non-metals, have high nuclear charge, and tend to accept electron-density, i.e. they are #"oxidizing agents...."# The strongest oxidizing agents come from the right hand side of the Periodic Table, where the nuclear charge is HIGH, and the tendency to be reduced is marked.

#1/2O_2 + 2H^+ + 2e^(-) rarr H_2O(l)# #;E^@=1.229*V#

#1/2F_2 + e^(-) rarr F^(-)# #;E^@=2.87*V#

Given the positions of oxygen and fluorine on the Periodic Table (to the right as we face it!), it is thus no coincidence that these elements are potent oxidizing agents.