# Is it possible for already charged metal ions to form a metallic bond? [closed]

I would like to know if it is possible for already charged metal ions to become part of a metallic bond.

I was thinking of a possible metallic bond formation with other already charged metal ions or a metallic bond formation between elemental uncharged metal atoms and already charged charged metal ions. By formation a mean the moment before the metallic bond has formed because my understanding is that in a metallic bond there are only charged metal ions and no elemental uncharged metal atoms.

If one of the two scenarios or even both could occur I would assume that the already charged metal ions would form or join a metallic bond by either giving up or donating additional electrons to the so called sea of electrons of a metallic bond or the already charged metal ions would form or join the metallic bond by not giving up additional electrons.

It would be very helpful if someone could provide a link for citation about whether or not charged metal ions can become part of metallic bond since I could not find anything explicitly ruling out that possibility.

• "metallic bond there are only charged metal ions and no elemental uncharged metal atoms." - that is incorrect. There's no charge on atoms in metal, well perhaps there are some partial charges, especially in alloys, but you're view on metallic bonding is incorrect. – Mithoron Aug 29 '20 at 23:52
• A bunch of metal ions aren't going to hang together without a bunch of electrons to neutralize the bulk to a great extent. – Jon Custer Aug 31 '20 at 14:54

Your reasoning is correct. Such things do exist, and they came to be known as clusters. The link above does not quite do them justice; in fact, they are vastly more numerous and diverse.

Come to think of it, the clusters go beyond the scope of your question, in that many of them are not charged. To pick a few examples, see the osmium carbonyl (which, arguably, is too small to consider the bond really metallic, but its bigger brothers are known), or gold clusters which range all the way up to the immense five-layer icosahedron $$\ce{Au561}$$ with some ligands on top.

To pick something charged and at the same time big enough to be called metallic, have a look at this: $$\ce{Ta6Cl18^4-}$$.

[source]

Upd. I thought I'd better stress this again. Yes, metal ions that still have some valence electrons can use those to form bonds, given the right circumstances. Whether those bonds qualify as metallic is a different question altogether, and depends on the number of atoms (or ions) in the cluster. Two is clearly too few. You can't possibly have a metallic bond between two atoms. A bond with electrons delocalized between two atoms is called covalent. That's the case of $$\ce{Hg2^2+}$$. Then you have clusters with 3 atoms, then 4, and so on, all the way up to 100 and beyond.

So it goes.

• A somewhat exotic but interesting example is barium platinide $\ce{BaPt}$. Though there are several different compounds depending on the ratio between the elements, the idealised structure of $\ce{BaPt}$ consists of infinite chains of platinum atoms with one negative charge per atom. The distance between them is actually shorter than in pure platinum, so they are clearly tightly bound. The barium atoms are fully ionised, which leaves an extra electron to float around. The compound is also a 2D metal, though not through the platinum chain axis. – Nicolau Saker Neto Aug 29 '20 at 23:59
• Thank you very much for the answer. After reading the answer I’m guessing that my question might have been imprecise in regard to what I was thinking about. By metallic bond I only meant the bonding metals do where their valence electrons are delocalized and part of the sea of electrons. Therefore the question should have rather been, can already charged metal ions join or form metallic bonds with delocalized valence electrons? Do you know if there is an example of such a scenario? My understanding is that your examples do not have delocalized electrons or a sea of electrons. Thank you again – Max Koch Aug 30 '20 at 0:24
• My examples do include seas of electrons, albeit small ones, to the point that you may refuse to call them seas. How many stones comprise a heap, they ask? How big should a puddle be for you to call it a sea? In my opinion, $\ce{Au561}$ is pretty much as metallic as any metal (on the inside, that is). – Ivan Neretin Aug 30 '20 at 0:31
• Ok. Thank you, that is interesting. Could you lastly tell me if my conclusion of your answer is right that metal ions, that are charged before they are part of a metallic bond, are able to join or form metallic bonds with delocalized electrons or sea of electrons, with other already charged metal ions or other uncharged elemental metal atoms? I was until now under the impression that only elemental uncharged metal atoms can join or form metallic bonds with delocalized electrons and that these elemental uncharged metal atoms only become charged ions after the formation of the metallic bond. – Max Koch Aug 30 '20 at 2:23
• Yes they are able to do so (sometimes), but not all metals and not all ions, and it depends on other circumstances too. – Ivan Neretin Aug 30 '20 at 2:25