Is Ammonium ion (NH4+ ) a molecular ion?
The ammonium ion is not a molecular ion because it is formed by the coordinate covalent bond between ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen ion (H+).
Due to the lone pair electron, ammonia is an electron-rich species and can easily donate a pair of electrons to electron-deficient species (H+ ion).
Why Ammonium ion is not a molecular ion?
In simple words donation of lone pair electron of the central nitrogen of ammonia to hydrogen ion results in the formation of ammonium ion by a coordinate covalent bond or dative bond.
Whereas a molecular ion is formed only by adding or removing electron/s from a molecule.
Since ammonium ion (NH4+) is not formed by the gain or loss of electrons. Therefore it is not a molecular ion.
NH4+ is a poly-atomic ion.
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