I have seen complex ionic compounds that have mixed anions and/or mixed cations. For Example I have seen this:


Also known as Sodium Potassium Chloride. The only information I can find on this is an ion cotransporter for sodium potassium and chloride ions.

Anyway the structure of a single monomer of this would be $\ce{Na+}$ $\ce{Cl-}$ $\ce{K+}$ $\ce{Cl-}$

I have also thought of this as a possibility: $$\ce{Na3ClO}$$

This looks very similar to sodium hypochlorite in terms of its formula but has a different structure. The structure of it would be $\ce{Na+}$ $\ce{Cl-}$ $\ce{Na+}$ $\ce{O^2-}$ $\ce{Na+}$

I know that naming mixed ionic compounds is not easy unlike naming simple ionic compounds(which itself can be hard if you don't know the name of a particular polyatomic ion). But how would I go about naming these mixed ionic compounds?

  • $\begingroup$ I know that and I know the name of that ion. it is chlorate. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ I have removed my comments, as it turned out that I was completely wrong. I had interpreted your question as some kind of beginners nomenclature question, which it clearly is not. And apparently misread half of it. Apologies. $\endgroup$
    – Gerhard
    Commented May 10, 2015 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


I propose you consult the recommendations of the International Union of Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), in particular the Red Book as reference. Obviously, you deviated for a reason from the Hill formula of $\ce{NaKCl2}$ (that were $\ce{Cl2KNa}$) some data bases adhere to.

As already presented in rules IR, and IR, the order of the elements within the formula may be arranged either by their relative electronegativity (starting by the element of least electronegativity), or by alphanumeric order, respectively. So rules in section IR 5.4 subsequently discriminate between electropositive constituents to be named prior to electronegative ones in the "overall name". In addition (quote):

"The order of citation is alphabetical within each class of constituents (multiplicative prefixes being ignored), except that hydrogen is always cited last among electropositive constituents if actually classified as an electropositive constituent."

The same reference provides numerous examples of application useful to look at, too. Page 76 (of the book, not the pdf) is a good place to start. As in nomenclature of organic compounds, there are instances you want to point the attention not only to the stoichiometric composition of the compound, rather than to different constitutional isomers.

  • $\begingroup$ I deviated from the Hill formula so that I would have the electronegative atoms being last which is usually the case in a chemical formula. I mean for sulfuric acid the Hill formula is H2O4S But this order doesn't make any sense because O is the most electronegative so it should go last. The same thing applies to NaKCl2. With the Cl2 last you can clearly tell that it is Sodium Potassium Chloride. With the Cl2 first you might think "Wait, this is Dichlorine Natride Kalide?" thinking that the Cl2 is a cation and the Na and K are anions when it actually is the opposite. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ @caters I completely agree with your comment; there was a valid reason for you to use the convention of "electropositive constitutent(s) first, followed by electronegative (ones)" instead of the Hill formula. Your question aimed for "How to name this compound?" Pointing to the Hill formula only aimed to rise attention -- because when you access data bases like Gmelin/Reaxys you may miss your compound if enquired (accidentally) according to an other (formula) convention. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented May 10, 2015 at 15:57

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