Does "H"_4"O"_2^(+) exist in water?

Oct 21, 2017

No, because the charge is not conserved...

${\text{H"_4"O}}_{2}^{+}$ does not exist. It would require the 1-electron ionization of ony one water and then its interaction with another water, and that doesn't make any sense. It would make more sense to form:

• ${\text{H"_5"O}}_{2}^{+}$ (i.e. the Zundel cation)
• ${\text{H"_7"O}}_{3}^{+}$
• ${\text{H"_9"O}}_{4}^{+}$ (i.e. the Eigen cation)

etc.

But we only need to speak of ${\text{H"_3"O}}^{+}$. We care more about their applicability to equilibria than how many hydronium are locally interacting with a water molecule...