Q:

What are some facts about the metalloid family, of which boron is a member?

A:

Metalloids are elements with properties of both metals and non-metals. Their ionization energies and electronegativities are between those of metals and non-metals, and their properties in chemical reactions are dependent on the other reactants.

Know More

Full Answer

Not all scientific sources agree on which elements are metalloids. Boron, silicon, germanium, arsenic, antimony and tellurium are the commonly agreed-upon metalloids; polonium, selenium and astatine are also sometimes included as metalloids. Carbon and aluminum are very rarely included due to their positions on the periodic table.

Because their electrical conductivity falls between that of conducting metals and insulating non-metals, metalloids are useful for electronic applications. Silicon is widely used as a semi-conductor in computer chips due to its abundance and the ease of fabricating materials from it. Boron, germanium, arsenic and antimony are also used as semi-conductors, though less often than silicon.

Metalloids are also used for commercial glass production, optical storage, fireworks and medicine. Silicon and boron are both essential trace elements to humans; the other metalloids are either toxic to humans or non-toxic but nonessential. Arsenic is highly toxic, but it is used to manufacture drugs to fight cancer and parasitic infections. Antimony is used for anti-parasitic drugs, while tellurium compounds are effective anti-microbial drugs.

Learn more in Atoms & Molecules

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What properties do all metals have?

    A:

    Some physical properties that metals have in common are that they have luster, good thermal and electrical conductivity, high densities and melting points and are malleable. With the exception of mercury, most metals also are solid at room temperature.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What family does boron belong to?

    A:

    The element boron belongs to the earth metal family of elements, which is also called the boron group. In addition to boron, this family includes aluminum, gallium, indium, thallium and ununtrium. Families consists of groups of elements with similar properties.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is boron a metal or nonmetal?

    A:

    Boron is neither a metal nor a nonmetal; instead, it is classified as a metalloid or a semimetal. Boron is the chemical element with the symbol B and atomic number 5. Its molecular weight is 10.81 grams per mole, and its melting point is 2076 degrees Celsius.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What properties distinguish metals from nonmetals?

    A:

    Metals have several properties that set them apart from nonmetals, such as conductivity, malleability and ductility. They also have a distinctive physical appearance and energy state at room temperature. Metals are located primarily on the left side of the periodic table.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore