Ion Names – A List of Common Monatomic and Polyatomic Ions

Dec 12, 2021

This article discusses ionic nomenclature and common ion names for both monatomic and polyatomic ions and includes a list for reference.

What is an ion?

Before we discuss common ion names, let’s talk about what an ion is.

An ion is an electrically charged atom or molecule. When an atom gains or loses electrons, it becomes an ion. Ions typically form when atoms come in close proximity to each other. As atoms approach each other, they can gain or lose electrons with other nearby atoms. If the atom gained electron(s), it becomes negatively charged. On the other hand, if the atom lost electron(s), it becomes positively charged. Negatively charged ions are called anions, while positively charged ions are called cations.

Types of ions

There are four major classifications of ions: cations, anions, monatomic ions and polyatomic ions.

Cations, or positively charged ions, are formed when atoms lose one or more electrons. Some examples of cations include calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), and potassium (K+). Anions, or negatively charged ions, are formed when atoms gain one or more electrons. Some examples of anions include chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br), and fluoride (F).

Monatomic ions are ions consisting of only one atom. Some examples of monatomic ions include Na+ (sodium), Cl (chlorine), K+ (potassium), and Ca2+ (calcium). On the other hand, polyatomic ions are ions consisting of more than one atom. Some examples of polyatomic ions include sulfate (SO42-), carbonate (CO32-), and ammonium (NH4+).

Common Ions and Ion Names

Listed below are the most common ions on planet Earth.

IonNames
H+Hydrogen
H3O+Hydronium
OHHydroxide
HHydride
Na+Sodium
K+Potassium
Cu+Copper(I)
Cu2+Copper(II)
Cr2+Chromium(II)
Cr3+Chromium(III)
Fe2+Iron(II)
Fe3+Iron(III)
Ca2+Calcium
Hg22+Mercury(I)
Hg2+Mercury(II)
FFluoride
ClChloride
BrBromide
IIodide
O2-Oxide
O22-Peroxide
S2-Sulfide
N3-Nitride
P3-Phosphide
NH4+Ammonium
CNCyanide
CO32-Carbonate
C2O42-Oxalate
NO2Nitrite
NO3Nitrate
PO33-Phosphite
PO43-Phosphate
SO32-Sulfite
SO42-Sulfate
S2O32-Thiosulfate
C2H3O2Acetate
MnO4Permanganate
CrO42-Chromate
Cr2O72-Dichromate
HCO3Hydrogen Carbonate or Bicarbonate
HSO3Hydrogen Sulfite or Bisulfite
HSO4Hydrogen Sulfate or Bisulfate
HPO42-Hydrogen Phosphate
H2PO4Dihydrogen Phosphate
Common ions list

Resources

Inorganic Nomenclature, UCSC

Further Reading

Useful Websites for Premeds

How to Form Effective Study Groups

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