What do metals typically do when they become ions? What about nonmetals?

1 Answer
Feb 10, 2017

Answer:

Metal atoms lose one or more electrons when they become ions. Nonmetal atoms gain one or more electron when they become ions.

Explanation:

Atoms form ions so that they will have a full valence shell, which is 8 electrons (2 for hydrogen).

Sodium, a metal, loses its single valence electron so that the next lower energy level becomes its valence shell with 8 electrons. Losing the single electron gives the sodium ion a #1^+# charge.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/add_gateway_pre_2011/periodictable/ionicbondingrev2.shtml

Oxygen, a nonmetal, has 6 electrons in its valence shell, so it gains 2 electrons and forms a #2^-# ion, now with 8 valence electrons.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/add_gateway_pre_2011/periodictable/ionicbondingrev2.shtml