I'm new to chemistry still in a sense - I'm doing AP chemistry and the stuff we learnt in school left a lot of gaps that would have made understanding and grasping the concepts much easer if they had taught us some of the concepts you only learn if you wish to pursue chemistry further

My question is as follows and I know its such a stupid question from a AP chem student but yeah :

Is there a chemical bond or compound that can make a cation and anion of the element. I'm just going to use random elements to make my point without taking into consideration of valency and electrons for the sake of asking the question. Say we bond Ca with Br (that should be a easy bond with Br2 if I recall the properties) and now we have a cation of Ca and a anion of Br - now hypothetically we bonded another ion of Ca but the math's works out to show we have 1 Ca cation 1 Br anion and 1 Ca anion... I know that cant work out with these elements but hypothetically speaking my question is basically is there a way in a bond to have a cation and anion of the same element X as a result of the reaction with the other element Y - once again to simply what I'm asking to not appear that silly is basically 1X+ : 1X- : 1Y+ (X being the same element and Y being a different) is that possible?

Thanks - any feedback that educates me further will be appreciated ;)


Having both cations and anions of the same element is very rare.

  • Like the only way to form simple cations and anions with positive and negative oxidation state side by side are ionization processes in gaseous or plasmatic phase. But there is no mutual ionic bonding, like $\ce{O2+}$ + $\ce{O2-}$

  • The elements with positive oxidation state in both cases form complex anions with oxygen ( $\ce{Mn^2+}$ + $\ce{MnO4-}$ or halogens ( $\ce{Cu^2+}$ + $\ce{CuCl4^2-}$ ) or negatively charged ligands ( $\ce{Fe^3+}$ + $\ce{[Fe(CN)6^3-}$ )

  • Alkali metals can form in very special environments alkalides. But it is not a simple ionic compound like e.g. $\ce{Na+ Na-}$. The cation must be stabilized by suitable complex agent, like 2,2,2-cryptand or 18-crown-6 ether.


We are not supposed to be mean to questioners but please bring that paragraph to your English teacher for a critique.
Your question: Can a compound X[+2]Z[-1]X[-1] where X is an element and Z a different element exist.[the signed numbers in the brackets are ionic charges or possibly oxidation number] You are certainly pushing the envelope for a beginner in chemistry; sort of like an infant trying to eat a tough steak without any teeth. Advice! Talk to your teacher, learn the basics. The simple example you give Ca++Br-Ca- is a very unlikely candidate! That said, there are many ionic coordination compounds and mixed oxides that do have the metal ions in different oxidation states. Common example Fe3O4 probably involves Fe+2 and Fe+3 ions in a crystal lattice. Also the famous Prussian blue and Tunballs blue mixes of +2 and +3 iron cyanide complexes. Sorry I can not find a true + and - same element example. For Homework work out the electronic structure for ozone, O3, those O atoms are definitely not the same. Organic chemistry is replete with carbon atoms in different oxidation states a simple example is carbon suboxide C3O2, O=C=C=C=O The C in the middle is definitely different. The rules of chemistry are really relatively simple. How they are obeyed has always been beyond our wildest dreams. Dream away but learn some of the simple things too.


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