Charge on flourine?

  1. Transition elements can form ions with different charges. Why can't elements other than transition elements form ions with different charges? If it is a Fluoride ion, why does it have to be an anion of charge -1? Why can't it have a -2 charge, or more?
  2. jcsd
  3. DrDu

    DrDu 4,639
    Science Advisor

    Who said so? Most main group elements can have several oxidation states, e.g. tin forms both ##\mathrm{Sn^{2+}}## and ##\mathrm{Sn^{4+}}## ions. It is true that fluorine and oxygen mostly form ions with charge -1 and -2, respectively, however, even for oxygen, there are other possibilities, like the peroxide ion ##\mathrm{O_2^{2-}}## where each oxygen only bears one negative charge. Elements like sulfur come in a wealth of oxidation states ranging from -2 to +6.
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