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How do you know the most likely charge for an ion to form? Are there any rules to follow regarding ion formation? For example for question 2A.15 d, the question asks what is the most likely charge for the ion of Ga is? I'm a little confused as to why the answer is +3.
First, you want to determine how many valence electrons the element has. Since Ga has 3 valence electrons, Ga wants to lose 3 electrons to fulfill the octet rule giving it a +3 charge. Another example is Fluorine. Fluorine has 7 valence electrons. Therefore, Fluorine wants to gain 1 more electron to fulfill the octet rule giving it a -1 charge. Sodium has 1 valence electron, so Sodium wants to lose that 1 electron to fulfill the octet rule giving Sodium a +1 charge.
The most likely charge for an atom to form is based on the number of valence electrons of each element. For example, Na has one valence electron so it would be more likely to give that one electron up than try and collect seven more. Therefore it has a likely charge of +1. On the other hand, P has five valence electrons and it is more likely that they will try and gain three electrons than give five electrons. Therefore it has a likely charge of -3.
An easy trick to remember is to count the groups across the period table, disregarding the transition metals, the order is +1,+2,+3 the 4th group is "neutral" then -3,-2,-1, noble gases don't form ions.
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