How does a chloride ion differ from a chlorine atom?

1 Answer
Mar 17, 2016

An ion is an atom or a molecule carrying some specific charge due to loss or gain of electrons. But on the other hand an atom is a neutral species therefore have no charge on them.


There is a huge difference between a chlorine atom and a chloride ion. Chlorine atom is a neutral species and has no charge on it. A chlorine atom has an atomic number of 17. It's electronic configuration can be given as:-

2 8 7
Every atom needs 8 electrons in its outermost shell except for a few like hydrogen, helium etc. Here, chlorine needs one more electron to complete its last shell and become stable. Chlorine can do this by forming a bond with other chlorine atom by sharing of electrons or by gaining an electron from the atom of another element. When chlorine will gain an electron it will have a -1 charge {- represents gain and 1 shows gain of 1 electron]. When this happens chlorine will become a chloride ion because now it has some charge on it. Always remember that an ion is only formed through the means of an electrovalent bond and not through a covalent bond.