Use Caution When Naming Compounds with Transition Metals

Use Caution When Naming Compounds
with Transition Metals
The thing about transition metals is that the same transition metal can form cations with
different charges. Differently charged metal cations need different names so chemists don’t
get any more confused than they already are. These days, you indicate these differences by
using Roman numerals within parentheses to denote the positive charge of the metal ion.
However, an older method adds the suffix -ous or -ic to indicate the cation with the smaller
or larger charge, respectively. For example:
= copper (I) ion or cuprous ion
Cu
Cu
+
2+
= copper (II) ion or cupric ion
Metal cations team up with nonmetal anions to form ionic compounds. What’s more, the
ratio of cations to anions within each formula unit depends on the charge assumed by the
fickle transition metal. The formula unit as a whole must be electrically neutral. The rules
you follow to name an ionic compound must accommodate the whims of transition metals.
The system of Roman numerals or suffixes applies in such situations:
CuCl = copper (I) chloride or cuprous chloride
CuCl
2
= copper (II) chloride or cupric chloride
Chapter 6 has the full scoop on the modern system of naming ionic and other types of
compounds.
with Transition Metals
The thing about transition metals is that the same transition metal can form cations with
different charges. Differently charged metal cations need different names so chemists don’t
get any more confused than they already are. These days, you indicate these differences by
using Roman numerals within parentheses to denote the positive charge of the metal ion.
However, an older method adds the suffix -ous or -ic to indicate the cation with the smaller
or larger charge, respectively. For example:
= copper (I) ion or cuprous ion
Cu
Cu
+
2+
= copper (II) ion or cupric ion
Metal cations team up with nonmetal anions to form ionic compounds. What’s more, the
ratio of cations to anions within each formula unit depends on the charge assumed by the
fickle transition metal. The formula unit as a whole must be electrically neutral. The rules
you follow to name an ionic compound must accommodate the whims of transition metals.
The system of Roman numerals or suffixes applies in such situations:
CuCl = copper (I) chloride or cuprous chloride
CuCl
2
= copper (II) chloride or cupric chloride
Chapter 6 has the full scoop on the modern system of naming ionic and other types of
compounds.

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