Metals, Metalloids and Nonmetals 1

The elements of the periodic table can be broken into three different groups: Metals, Metalloids, and Nonmetals.

Periodic Table-Metals 2017This 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 and an alkali metal under extremely high pressure.

Some periodic tables include a zig-zag line to distinguish between metals and metalloids. The line begins below boron (B) and extends between bismuth (Bi) and polonium (Po) or down between livermorium (Lv) and Tennessine (Ts). In reality, the metals near the line often display nonmetallic properties the nonmetals have some metallic character.

Properties of Metals

Most of the elements are metals. Metals include the alkali metal, alkaline earth, transition metal, basic metal, lanthanide, and actinide groups. Metals display the following properties:

  • Solid at room temperature (with the exception of mercury)
  • Usually shiny, with metallic luster
  • 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)
  • Corrode in air or seawater
  • Lose electrons in reactions

Properties of Metalloids or Semimetals

Metalloids or semimetals possess some properties of metals and some of nonmetals. Metalloids typically have several forms or allotropes with very different properties. Characteristics of metalloids include:

  • Could be dull or shiny
  • Conduct 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

The nonmetals include the nonmetals element group, plus the halogens, and noble gases. Properties of nonmetals include:

  • 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)
  • Gain electrons in reactions

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One thought on “Metals, Metalloids and Nonmetals

  • 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.