Why do group 1 metals form +1 ions?

Group 1 metals form +1 ions because they have one electron in their outermost shell, which they lose to achieve a stable electron configuration.

Group 1 metals, also known as alkali metals, include elements such as lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, caesium, and francium. These metals are located in the first column of the periodic table and share similar chemical properties. One of these properties is their tendency to form +1 ions, which is a direct result of their electron configuration.

The electron configuration of an atom determines its chemical behaviour. In the case of group 1 metals, they all have one electron in their outermost shell, also known as the valence shell. This is the shell that is involved in chemical reactions. The electron in this shell is relatively far from the nucleus and is not strongly attracted to it, making it relatively easy to remove.

When a group 1 metal atom loses this electron, it forms a +1 ion. This is because the atom now has one more proton (a positively charged particle) than it has electrons (negatively charged particles), giving it an overall charge of +1. The loss of this electron results in a stable electron configuration, similar to that of a noble gas. Noble gases are known for their stability and lack of reactivity, and other elements often react in ways that achieve a similar stable configuration.

This process of losing an electron is known as ionisation. The first ionisation energy is the energy required to remove one electron from an atom. Group 1 metals have relatively low first ionisation energies, meaning it requires less energy to remove their outermost electron compared to elements in other groups. This is another reason why they readily form +1 ions.

In summary, the formation of +1 ions by group 1 metals is a result of their electron configuration and the principles of ionisation. By losing their outermost electron, these metals achieve a stable electron configuration and an overall positive charge.

Study and Practice for Free

Trusted by 100,000+ Students Worldwide

Achieve Top Grades in Your Exams with our Free Resources:

  • STUDY NOTES

    Expert-crafted notes designed to make learning the material engaging and clear.

  • PRACTICE QUESTIONS

    Comprehensive questions to boost your revision and exam preparedness.

  • PAST EXAM PAPERS

    Extensive collection of previous exam papers for effective revision.

Need help from an expert?

4.92/5 based on477 reviews

The world’s top online tutoring provider trusted by students, parents, and schools globally.

Related Chemistry ib Answers

    Read All Answers
    background image

    Hire a tutor

    Please fill out the form and we'll find a tutor for you

    Phone number (with country code)
    background

    Still have questions? Let’s get in touch.