What is an example of anion

Examples of Positive Ions

Positive ions are typically metals or act like metals. Many common materials contain these ions. Mercury is found in thermometers, for instance, and aluminum is a metal that is found in a surprising amount of things. It's even an ingredient in baking soda and in certain other food products!

The positive charge (more protons versus electrons) for a cation is shown by a number and plus sign after the formula. If there's just a plus sign, it means the charge is plus 1. Some examples of cations, or positive ions, include the following:

  • Aluminum - Al 3+

  • Barium - Ba 2+

  • Bismuth - Bi 3+

  • Cadmium - Cd 2+

  • Calcium - Ca 2+

  • Cesium - Cs +

  • Chromium (III) - Cr 3+

  • Cobalt - Co 2+

  • Copper (I) - Cu +

  • Copper (II) - Cu 2+

  • Hydrogen - H +

  • Iron (II) - Fe 2+

  • Iron (III) - Fe 3+

  • Lead (II) - Pb 2+

  • Lithium - Li +

  • Magnesium - Mg 2+

  • Mercury (I) - Hg2 2+

  • Mercury (II) - Hg 2+

  • Nickel - Ni 2+

  • Potassium - K +

  • Rubidium - Rb +

  • Silver - Ag +

  • Sodium - Na +

  • Strontium - Sr 2+

  • Tin (II) - Sn 2+

  • Zinc - Zn 2+

Examples of Negative Ions

Just as atoms can lose electrons to become cations, some can gain electrons and become negatively charged anions. Again, you may be familiar with some of these ions. Fluoride is sometimes added to community water supplies. Your dentist may also give you a flouride treatment.

The negative charge (fewer protons than electrons) for an anion is shown by a number and minus sign after the formula. If there's just a minus sign, it means the charge is minus 1. Here are several examples of anions:

  • Bromide - Br -

  • Chloride - Cl -

  • Fluoride - F -

  • Iodide - I -

  • Nitride - N 3-

  • Oxide - O 2-

  • Sulfide - S 2-

Polyatomic Cations and Anions

If an ion consists of two or more atoms it is called a polyatomic ion. Just like their single-atom counterparts, they too can gain and lose electrons.

Polyatomic Cations

Ions with multiple atoms that lose electrons, and are thus positively charged, are called polyatomic cations.

  • Ammonium - NH4 +

  • Hydronium - H3O +

Polyatomic Anions

Ions with multiple atoms that gain electrons, and are thus negatively charged, are called polyatomic anions. In the list below, the charge has been put in parentheses for ease of legibility, but standard notation calls for the charge to be written as a superscript instead.

  • Acetate - CH3COO (-) or C2H3O (2-)

  • Arsenate - AsO4 (3-)

  • Bicarbonate or hydrogen carbonate - HCO3 (-)

  • Borate - BO3 (3-)

  • Carbonate - CO3 (2-)

  • Chlorate - ClO3 (-)

  • Chlorite - ClO2 (-)

  • Chromate - CrO4 (2-)

  • Cyanide CN (-)

  • Dichromate - Cr2O7 (2-)

  • Dihydrogen phosphate - H2PO4 (-) or H2O4P (-)

  • Formate - CHO2 (-) or HCOO (-) or CHOO (-)

  • Hydrogen sulfate or bisulfate - HSO4 (-)

  • Hydrogen sulfite or bisulfite - HSO3 (-)

  • Hydrogen phosphate - HPO4 (2-)

  • Hydroxide OH (-)

  • Hypochlorite - ClO (-)

  • Nitrate - NO3 (-)

  • Nitrite - NO2 (-)

  • Oxalate - C2O4 (2-)

  • Perchlorate - ClO4 (-)

  • Permanganate - MnO4 (-)

  • Peroxide O2 (2-)

  • Phosphate - PO4 (3-)

  • Phosphite - PO3 (3-)

  • Silicate - SiO3 (2-)

  • Sulfate - SO4 (2-)

  • Sulfite - SO3 (2-)

  • Thiocyanate - SCN (-)

  • Thiosulfate - S2O3 (2-)

Ionic Compounds

An ionic compound is made up of one or more anions and one or more cations.

Some examples of ionic compounds include:

  • Aluminum sulfide - Al2S3

  • Beryllium chloride - BeCl2

  • Boron iodide - BI3

  • Calcium nitride - Ca3N2

  • Copper phosphide - Cu3P

  • Iron (II) iodide - FeI2

  • Iron (III) oxide - Fe2O3

  • Lead (II) sulfide - PbS

  • Lead (IV) phosphide - Pb3P4

  • Lithium fluoride - LiF

  • Magnesium chloride - MgCl2

  • Potassium bromide - KBr

  • Sodium fluoride - NaF

  • Sodium nitride - Na3N

Fully Charged Reaction

When you study chemistry, you will encounter many examples of ions, as well as the different types of ions and how they interact and relate to each other. For more on the topic, be sure to explore some examples of chemical bonds and examples of chemical properties. Perhaps they'll be the catalyst for positive change in your learning experience!

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