First off, I am currently confused about why neon can even be ionized at all. But since it can be ionized, this is the energy required to give a mole of neon a charge of +8: 207,390,000 joules!! Or ~0.5 GJ! Giving one-fifth of a kilogram of neon the maximum charge would be like the energy from 50 armor-piercing rounds of the ISU-150 assault tank, or approximately one Tour-de-France! Charging up one kilo of neon would be basically either throwing a lightning bolt or melting a tonne of steel.

My question is, what insidious chemical or procedure could rip away all of neon's electrons like that? Or is it just simply impossible to do?

I suspect that it is possible to do (otherwise how would they be able to calculate the energy expenditure), but how is the question.


Of course you can take all the electrons off an atom - it is then called "fully stripped" in atomic physics. You don't need to do it to an entire mole, mind you. In accelerators one would send energetic neon ions through a background gas or a thin foil, and the interactions will result in various charge states coming out, up to and including fully stripped.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As an example, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) smashes bare gold nuclei ($\ce{Au^{79+}}$) and uranium nuclei (presumably also devoid of electrons, $\ce{U^{92+}}$) into each other during experiments. At least part of the ionizations are performed by electron bombardment. Of course, these species will never be found inside a flask in the lab, as they would immediately tear dozens of electrons out of whatever came into contact with them. $\endgroup$ – Nicolau Saker Neto Jul 18 '15 at 1:22

First - in chemistry there's technically no such thing as bare multivalent cation, second - as you think, there's no such energetic chemical reaction, third - ionisation energy is physical property (although important for chemistry) and

..."is usually measured in an electric discharge tube in which a fast-moving electron generated by an electric current collides with a gaseous atom of the element, causing it to eject one of its electrons. - Source "Encyclopedia Britannica"


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.