Metals, Metalloids and Nonmetals

The elements of the periodic table can be broken into three different groups: metals, metalloids (or semi-metals) and nonmetals.

Periodic Table Metals Nonmetals and MetalloidsThis periodic table shows the three different groups of elements. The metalloid group separates the metals from the nonmetals. Elements to the left are metals and nonmetals are to the right. The exception is the element hydrogen. Hydrogen has properties of a nonmetal at normal temperatures and pressures.

Properties of Metals

  • solid at room temperature (with the exception of mercury)
  • usually shiny
  • high melting point
  • good conductor of heat
  • good conductor of electricity
  • malleable – able to be pounded into sheets
  • ductile – can be pulled into wire
  • high density (exceptions: lithium, potassium and sodium)
  • corrodes in air or seawater
  • loses electrons in reactions

Properties of Metalloids or Semimetals

  • could be dull or shiny
  • conducts heat and electricity, but not as well as metals
  • good semiconductors
  • usually malleable
  • usually ductile
  • can both gain and lose electrons in reactions

Properties of Nonmetals

  • dull, not shiny
  • poor conductor of heat
  • poor conductor of electricity
  • not malleable or ductile, usually brittle
  • lower density (when compared to metals)
  • lower melting point and boiling points (when compared to metals)
  • gains electrons in reactions



Metals, Metalloids and Nonmetals
Last modified: August 27th, 2014 by Todd Helmenstine

4 thoughts on “Metals, Metalloids and Nonmetals

  1. Pingback: Periodic Table Trends - Science Notes and Projects

  2. Daniel Rosenthal

    Boron, Silicon, Germanium and Tellurium are semiconductors. Arsenic, Antimony,
    Bismuth and Polonium are metallic conductors–albeit mediocre ones–however,
    Arsenic and Antimony have low temperature, nonmetallic allotropes. Arsenic and
    Antimony are brittle; Bismuth is ductile but not malleable–it can be extruded into wires
    but not hammered into sheets. Bismuth is entirely metallic in its chemical behavior.
    Several elements which are entirely nonmetallic in their behavior have semiconducting
    allotropes–Phosphorus, Selenium and Carbon (in the form of graphite.) Room temperature
    electrical resistance among the semiconductors varies widely–1,800,000 ohms for a
    1 centimetre cube of Boron to 0.43 ohms for a 1 centimetre cube of Tellurium. By
    contrast the electrical resistance for a 1 centimetre cube of Arsenic is 0.000035 ohm;
    for Antimony 0.000042 ohm for Antimony–typical metallic values.

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