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The process of producing ions. Certain molecules (see electrolyte) ionize in solution; for example, acids ionize when dissolved in water (see also solvation):HCl → H++Cl Electron transfer also causes ionization in certain reactions; for example, sodium and chlorine react by the transfer of a valence electron from the sodium atom to the chlorine atom to form the ions that constitute a sodium chloride crystal:Na+Cl → Na+Cl Ions may also be formed when an atom or molecule loses one or more electrons as a result of energy gained in a collision with another particle or a quantum of radiation (see photoionization). This may occur as a result of the impact of ionizing radiation or of thermal ionization and the reaction takes the form A → A++e Alternatively, ions can be formed by electron capture, i.e.A+e → A

HCl → H++Cl

Na+Cl → Na+Cl

A → A++e

A+e → A

Subjects: Chemistry.

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