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I know that Hydrogen is "happy" with two electrons and it doesn't follow the octet rule, but for the other three elements mentioned that are outliers, how many electrons do they look for to be more stable when bonding ionically?
Unlike covalent bonding where they share their electrons, in ionic bonding, the elements with high electronegativty like Oxygen and Flourine pull the electrons from He, Li, Be. So oxygen for example would satisfy the octet rule becoming an anion while the metal would become a cation.
Two exceptions to the octet rule are hydrogen and helium, which both have room for only two electrons in their valence shell. Because they both only have one shell, the first shell has only one s orbital and no p orbital, so it holds only two electrons (which is when helium and hydrogen are most stable). Another exception, Lithium (with three protons and electrons), is most stable when it gives up an electron. Other exceptions include boron and aluminum, which are very stable with only six valence electrons.
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