What is ionization?

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In uninterrupted conditions and circumstances, most ions or atoms are classified as neutrally charged.  This simply means that the number of protons and electrons they contain are equal in number.  Protons contain positive charge while the electrons contain negative charge. When these ions or atoms lose or gain either one proton or electron, they undergo a process called ionization. With this process, atoms and molecules become either negatively charged or positively charged depending on the atom they lost or acquired.

The process of ionization can take place for various atoms and molecules including those from liquid substances, solid materials, and gaseous particles.  An atom may be lost or gained by a particular substance in cases wherein substances are combined.  Ionization may also occur between different ions and molecules because of ionic stability. Those that are neutrally charged or those with equal number of atoms are considered more stable.  This is also true for ions that have outer shells that are filled. When ions are configured with equal pairing of atoms and have filled outer shells, they are considered more compact and so are not expected to undergo ionization. Unstable molecules meanwhile are those with unequal number of atoms and many of them also have outer shells that are only partially-filled.  With this configuration, these molecules literally need to lose one atom or gain another in order to remain compact and stable.  This simply means that these unstable molecules have an innate tendency to undergo ionization.

When ionizations occur, there is also a great tendency for some atoms to bond together simply because of attraction.  Positive ions in general will be attracted to negative ions and when they come in contact with each other, they may literally bond together and form ionic bonds.  If there are so many molecules or atoms involved, the ionization and bonding process will result to the formation of crystals.

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