Metals lose electrons to form ions, a process that typically occurs between metals and non-metals. Because metals have a very low electronegativity, they lose electrons easily to high-electronegativity non-metals.Know More
Metals generally have very few electrons in their outer electron shell. Because an atom always seeks to balance out the number of electrons in each of its shells, the atoms in metals are eager to lose the lone electron in their outer shell. Whenever two outer shells come into contact, the one that needs an electron to complete its electron set easily takes the lone electron from the other atom. ChemGuide explains this phenomenon as electronegativity.
Georgia State University clarifies the nature of electronegativity, stating an atom's ultimate goal is to form a polar bond. Metals are fairly unstable elements, known for their ability to form bonds rapidly. Princeton notes an ionic bond is formed when a metal and a non-metal exchange one or more electrons. This exchange occurs because metals and non-metals are polar opposites, each reacting to the opposite charge of the other. Although it is possible for a non-metal to lose an electron to a metal, the opposite is the ideal exchange and far more likely to occur under normal circumstances.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
Alkaline earth metals, the elements in the second column of the periodic table, are the most likely elements to lose two electrons in chemical reactions. They include beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium. It is important to note, however, that beryllium varies greatly from the other alkaline earth metals, and despite having only two electrons in its outer valence shell, it does not readily lose electrons in reactions.Full Answer >
According to the octet rule, atoms tend to gain, lose or share electrons in order to achieve a full set of valence electrons. When their valence shells gain a full complement of valence electrons, atoms become especially stable. An element tends to take the shortest path to achieving a full valence shell, whether that means gaining or losing an electron.Full Answer >
Silicon ions can have a charge of positive four, positive two or negative four. The charge depends on the element with which the silicon has bonded.Full Answer >
Negatively charged ions are called anions. Atoms that are high on the electronegativity scale, such as fluorine and oxygen, become anions by gaining electrons. Highly electronegative atoms strongly attract electrons, thus attaining eight electrons in their outer energy levels and creating a more stable atom.Full Answer >