premed plug logo

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

Useful Websites for Premeds

The advent of technology has changed nearly every industry. From smart cars to smart phones, our world will never be the same. As we navigate our new modern world, we can’t help but feel nostalgia for the past. Our ancestors were intelligent and they read physical...

67 Undergraduate Premed Scholarships – 2022 Updated List

Are you a premed student that needs help paying for college? Check out our list of 67 undergraduate premed scholarships! Read on. College is expensive and it's hard to find ways to pay for it. Every day, students like you have to make tough decisions about how to pay...

The MCAT Score You Need to Get Into Medical School

Everyone asks the question: “What MCAT score do I need to get into medical school?” But, there isn’t a definitive answer. To be a competitive applicant into your school of interest, your MCAT score must be above the average percentile of admitted students. However, a...

MD-JD Dual Degree Programs List and Information 2022

An MD-JD is a combined medical and law degree. This degree allows you to enter narrow and specialized career paths. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about MD-JD programs. Table of Contents What is an MD-JD degree?How long do MD-JD degrees...

Update Letter Medical School Guide, Examples and Templates

In this update letter medical school guide, we show you how to write a great letter that can get you off the waitlist and into the entering medical school class. How to write an update letter for medical school admissions committees So you've been waitlisted by your...

M.D. vs. D.O. School – Medical Degree Comparisons

M.D. vs. D.O. School comparisons, allopathic vs. osteopathic medicine, everything you need to know about medical degrees.

AAMC PREView: The Ultimate Exam Guide in 2022

The AAMC PREview exam assesses your understanding of pre-professional behavior. As an entering medical student, your understanding of these behaviors is important so that you can be successful through school and into residency! AAMC PREview Exam overview  With a...

5 Topics to Write About in Your Optional Secondary Essays for Medical School

In the secondary application process, most medical schools will include an optional essay prompt that allows candidates to share any additional information they haven’t included in their primary application. Although these essays are optional, filling them out shows...

15 Free MCAT Practice Tests

Preparing for the MCAT can be very expensive. Test prep companies can cost over $10,000. Luckily, there are many alternative methods to study and prepare for the MCAT on a budget. One of the most important tasks you can do to prepare for the MCAT is taking practice...

MD-MPH Dual Degree Programs List and Information 2022

An MD-MPH degree is a dual degree program that offers both a medical degree and a master's of public health degree. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about MD-MPH degrees and programs. Table of Contents What is an MD-MPH degree?How long do...