A metaphosphate ion is an oxyanion
An oxyanion or oxoanion is a chemical compound with the generic formula AxOyz− . Oxoanions are formed by a large majority of the chemical elements. The formulae of simple oxoanions are determined by the octet rule...

 that has the empirical formula PO3. The structure of a metaphosphate ion can be described as being made up of PO4 structural units in which each unit shares two corners with another unit. This can come about in two ways.
  • Formation of a ring, as in trimetaphosphate, illustrated.
  • Formation of an infinite chain , with the same structure as in ammonium metavanadate
    Ammonium metavanadate
    Ammonium metavanadate, NH4VO3, is a yellow crystalline solid which is water soluble inorganic acid that acts as insulin mimic. It functions as a catalyst to certain reactions and is known to have toxic effects in certain species. It has been found in slags and fly ash from coal burning which has...

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