Most atoms perform not have eight electron in their valence electron shell. Part atoms have actually only a couple of electrons in their external shell, while some atoms lack only one or two electrons to have an octet. In instances where an atom has three or fewer valence electrons, the atom may shed those valence electron quite quickly until what stays is a reduced shell that consists of an octet. Atom that lose electrons obtain a positive charge together a resultbecause they space left through fewer negatively fee electrons to balance the hopeful charges of the proton in the nucleus. Positive charged ion are dubbed cations. Many metals become cations as soon as they do ionic compounds.

You are watching: Which type of element typically loses an electron to become an ion?

## Cations

A neutral salt atom is likely to achieve an octet in the outermost shell by losing its one valence electron.

\<\ceNa \rightarrow Na^+ + e^-\>

The cation created in this way, Na+, is called the salt ion to distinguish it native the element. The outermost shell of the salt ion is the second electron shell, which has eight electrons in it. The octet preeminence has been satisfied. Figure $$\PageIndex1$$ is a graphical relenten of this process.

api/deki/files/114134/3.2B.jpg?revision=1" />Figure $$\PageIndex2$$: The formation of a Chlorine Ion. Top top the left, the chlorine atom has 17 electrons. Top top the right, the chloride ion has actually 18 electrons and has a 1− charge.

The surname for hopeful and an unfavorable ions room pronounced CAT-eye-ons and ANN-eye-ons, respectively.

See more: Which Of The Following Is Not True About Enzymes Important? Which Of The Following Is Not True For Enzymes

In numerous cases, aspects that belong come the same team (vertical column) on the periodic table form ions v the exact same charge because they have actually the same variety of valence electrons. Thus, the regular table i do not care a tool for psychic the charges on plenty of ions. Because that example, all ions made native alkali metals, the first column ~ above the periodic table, have actually a 1+ charge. Ions made from alkaline planet metals, the 2nd group on the routine table, have a 2+ charge. ~ above the other side of the routine table, the next-to-last column, the halogens, kind ions having actually a 1− charge. Number $$\PageIndex3$$ shows just how the charge on many ions can be suspect by the place of an aspect on the regular table. Note the convention of very first writing the number and also then the authorize on a ion through multiple charges. The barium cation is composed Ba2+, no Ba+2.