Key Concepts and Summary
Atoms gain or lose electrons to form ions with particularly stable electron configurations. The charges of cations formed by the representative metals may be determined readily because, with few exceptions, the electronic structures of these ions have either a noble gas configuration or a completely filled electron shell. The charges of anions formed by the nonmetals may also be readily determined because these ions form when nonmetal atoms gain enough electrons to fill their valence shells.
inert pair effect
tendency of heavy atoms to form ions in which their valence s electrons are not lost
strong electrostatic force of attraction between cations and anions in an ionic compound