Reactions/ionic compounds

In reactions to form ionic compounds, metals generally: lose electrons, gain electrons, become non-metals, do not react? :roll: [/list]

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I've never seen a metal become a non-metal before, have you?

[quote="UCB Mitch"]I've never seen a metal become a non-metal before, have you?[/quote]
I haven`t.

Metals try to LOSE electrons.

[quote="UCB Mitch"]I've never seen a metal become a non-metal before, have you?[/quote]

Actually, yeah. At around 13.2 C beta-Sn, a white metal is converted to alpha-Sn a grey powder. This reaction is self-catalyzing and was known in ancient times as tin-pest. Simlarly As exists in a grey metalic allotrope and a yellow non-metalic allotrope and Sb has both metallic and non-metallic allotropes.

So did the Sn undergoe a reaction to become a non-metal or is it just some type of allotrope?

Presumably a phase transition much as C slowly shifts from a tetrahedral crystal lattice (diamond) to hexagonal plates held by van der Waals forces (graphite). You didn't ask if this was a chemical reaction just if I'd ever seen a metal become a non-metal; in fact such allotropic changes are rather common in the chalcophile and metalloids. Part of the problem of course is what is a metal? The distinction is not as black-and-white as one would think. If it is a shiny substance that conducts eletricity then graphite and selenium are metals; if it must be malleable then graphite, silicon, selenium, antimony, arsenic, and germanium are out. Lead and bismuth are rather poor conductors of electricity but still malleable, and beta-tin while shiny, conductive of heat and electricity and pliable nevertheless has a rather stiff crystal structure so that when bent, tin emits a noticeable "cry."

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