When elements form stable ions according to the Octet Rule, what charges do they have?

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Dwight Share
Feb 7, 2018


It depends on the number of valence electrons the atom had prior to becoming an ion. Details follow...


Generally, we find that metal atoms will lose all of the valence electrons of the atom, creating a stable octet from the shell beneath that valence shell. For each electron lost, the ion gains one unit of positive charge, as the protons in the nucleus now outnumber the electrons that remain.

Non-metals tend to gain additional electrons until the current valence shell reaches eight electrons. For each electron gained, the ion gains one unit of negative charge.

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