Formal Charge in Ions


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Fdonovan 3D
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:16 am

Formal Charge in Ions

Postby Fdonovan 3D » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:23 pm

Can ions have a formal charge of zero? Or will they always have a nonzero charge because the ions themselves are charged?

LeAirraBullingor2k
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Formal Charge in Ions

Postby LeAirraBullingor2k » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:44 pm

They cannot have a formal charge of zero because they are no longer neutral when gaining or losing electrons.

John Liang 2I
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Formal Charge in Ions

Postby John Liang 2I » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:59 pm

Formal charge refers to singular atoms in the lewis dot structure of covalent bonds, not ions. The ions themselves have an overall charge, but not a formal charge. For example, the lewis dot structure of F- is F with seven dots around it, no bonds formed. On the other hand, the F atoms in SF6 do have formal charge. Hope this helps!

Amy Pham 1D
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Formal Charge in Ions

Postby Amy Pham 1D » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:36 pm

Indeed as stated above, ions can have charge but technically the name "formal charge" applies to the individual atoms in that ion. However, apart from terminology, a good guideline to apply to the idea you are referring to is that in a molecule or ion, the sum of the formal charges of the individual atoms should always add up to the charge of the overall molecule or ion.


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