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Nomenclature of Inorganic Compounds I.

Oxidation numbers number of electrons that will be lost or gained when it bonds with another atom.

Metals and Transition metals have positive oxidation numbers they tend to lose electrons when bonding Non-metals usually have negative oxidation numbers they tend to gain electrons when bonding For monoatomic ions of groups IA to IIIA, the oxidation state usually corresponds to the group number (e.g. Na+, Ba2+, Al3+) an exception is hydrides, wherein hydrogen has an oxidation number of -1. For monoatomic ions of groups VIA-VIIA, the oxidation states are usually -2 and 1, respectively (S2-, F-) an exception is peroxides, wherein oxygen has an oxidation number of -1. Examples: a. Oxidation number of Na? Answer: +1 b. Oxidation number of O? Answer: -2

Important: For compounds, the net charge of the molecule must be in accordance with the oxidation numbers of the elements Examples: a. Oxidation numbers of magnesium and chloride in MgCl2 Answer: Net charge of molecule = 0 Oxidation # of Mg = +2 Oxidation # of Cl = -1*2 = -2 b. Oxidation numbers of oxygen and hydrogen in OHAnswer: Net charge of specie = -1 Oxidation # of O = -2 Oxidation # of H = +1 Transition metals may have more than one oxidation state (e.g. Fe2+ and Fe3+) II. Naming cations/anions/polyatomic ions A. Cations with only one oxidation state: name + ion Na+ = sodium ion Mg2+ = magnesium ion Li+ = lithium ion B. Cations with more than one oxidation state: name + suffix Suffix: Lower oxidation state: -ous Higher oxidation state: -ic a. Fe2+ (ferrous) and Fe3+ (ferric) b. Cu+ (cuprous) and Cu2+(cupric) C. Polyatomic cations: name + -ium NH4+ = ammonium H3O+ = Hydronium D. Monoatomic anions: name + -ide O2- = oxide Cl- = chloride S2- = sulfide E. Polyatomic anions (some that you MUST know) OH- = hydroxide CH3COO- = acetate CN- = cyanide F. Oxyanions i. For elements that form only two oxygen containing species Suffix: More oxygens: name + -ate


Less oxygens: name + -ite Examples: SO42- = sulfate NO3- = nitrate SO32- = sulfite NO2- = nitrite When acidified with H+ SO42- becomes: HSO4- hydrogen sulfate HSO4- becomes: H2SO4 Sulfuric acid SO32- becomes: HSO3- hydrogen sulfite HSO3- becomes: H2SO3 Sulfurous acid PO43- becomes: HPO42- hydrogen phosphate HPO42- becomes: H2PO4- dihydrogen phosphate Note: In its acid form, -ate becomes ic + acid and ite becomes ous + acid ii. For elements that form more than two oxygen containing species ClO- hypochlorite -> HClO hypochlorous acid ClO2- chlorite -> HClO2 chlorous acid ClO3- chlorate -> HClO3 chloric acid ClO4- perchlorate -> HClO4 perchloric acid iii. Binary Acids: hydro + name + -ic + acid HCl -> hydrochloric acid HCN -> hydrocyanic acid Naming Ionic Compounds Important: Ionic bonds form between metals and non-metals A. Write the name of the cation first NaCl -> Sodium chloride KOH -> Potassium hydroxide B. Criss-cross the charges charge of cation becomes subscript of anion Charge of anion becomes subscript of cation MgCl2 -> magnesium chloride (Mg2+ and Cl-) Na2CO3 -> Sodium carbonate (Na+ and CO32-) CaO -> calcium oxide (Ca2+ and O2-) C. For cations with more than one oxidation state, you can use Roman Numerals instead of the suffix FeCl3 -> ferric chloride or iron (III) chloride CuO -> cupric oxide or copper (II) oxide Naming Covalent Compounds Important: Covalent bonds form between non-metals A. Write the name of the less electronegative atom first Order of electronegativity: Si<B<P<H<C<S<I<Br<N<Cl<O<F B. Write name of more electronegative atom + -ide


C. Put in prefixes. For the less EN atom, put a prefix only if there is more than one mole of that atom. For the more EN atom, always put a prefix. Prefixes: 1 mono 2 di 3 tri 4 tetra 5 penta And so on. Examples: CO -> carbon monoxide BF3 -> boron trifluoride P2O5 -> diphosphorous pentoxide Reference: Katz, D. A. Formula Writing and Nomenclature of Inorganic Compounds. . Accessed Nov. 10, 2010.