Formal Charges on Atoms Summed in Ions?


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Bita Ghanei 1F
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:15 am

Formal Charges on Atoms Summed in Ions?

Postby Bita Ghanei 1F » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:57 pm

If you have an ion with one atom having a +1 formal charge and another atom having a -1 formal charge, do these charges cancel each other out if there are only two atoms in the ion?

Thanks in advance!

connie 2C
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Formal Charges on Atoms Summed in Ions?

Postby connie 2C » Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:59 pm

can you provide an example? if it's just adding formal charges then yes they do cancel out.

Kelvin Chung 1C
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Re: Formal Charges on Atoms Summed in Ions?

Postby Kelvin Chung 1C » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:34 pm

In an ion, generally the formal charges should add up to the charge of the ion. In a molecule, I believe the formal charges should add up to 0.

Jocelyn Thorp 1A
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Re: Formal Charges on Atoms Summed in Ions?

Postby Jocelyn Thorp 1A » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:23 pm

Kelvin Chung 1C wrote:In an ion, generally the formal charges should add up to the charge of the ion. In a molecule, I believe the formal charges should add up to 0.


exactly. for example Na has a formal charge of +1 and Cl has a formal charge of -1. Their combined compound NaCl has a formal charge of zero.

Jordan Ziegler 2J
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Re: Formal Charges on Atoms Summed in Ions?

Postby Jordan Ziegler 2J » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:44 am

In covalent bonding with a zero charge, the formal charges will always work out to cancel each other out.

For example, the least stable resonance hybrid of HClO4 has all single bonds. The formal charges on three oxygens are -1 (6 valence - (1 bonding site + 6 lone electrons), and the formal charge on the central chlorine atom is +3 (7 valence electrons - 4 bonding sites). These formal charges will cancel each other out in the big picture of the molecule.

romina_4C
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Re: Formal Charges on Atoms Summed in Ions?

Postby romina_4C » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:38 am

If the molecule does not have a charge associated to it (a charge like ), then the formal charges should cancel out to zero. In the example of the molecule I mentioned the overall formal charges of the molecule should equal -2, since the molecule has a charge of -2.

Manav Govil 1B
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Re: Formal Charges on Atoms Summed in Ions?

Postby Manav Govil 1B » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:10 pm

Also, the more formal charges there are that equal to zero, the more stable the molecule actually is.


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