C1.7 Ions, atoms, and isotopes


Ions are electrically charged particles formed when atoms lose or gain electrons. They have the same electronic structures as noble gases.

Metal atoms form positive ions, while non-metal atoms form negative ions. The strong electrostatic forces of attraction between oppositely charged ions are called ionic bonds.

How ions form:

Ions are electrically charged particles formed when atoms lose or gain electrons. This loss or gain leaves a complete highest energy level, so the electronic structure of an ion is the same as that of a noble gas - such as a helium, neon or argon.

Metal atoms and non-metal atoms go in opposite directions when they ionise:

  • Metal atoms lose the electron, or electrons, in their highest energy level and become positively charged ions
  • Non-metal atoms gain an electron, or electrons, from another atom to become negatively charged ions

How many charges?

There is a quick


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