Location on the Periodic Table
The metalloids or semimetals are located along the line between the metals and nonmetals in the periodic table. The metalloids are boron, silicon, germanium, arsenic, antimony, and tellurium. Polonium is often considered a metalloid, too.
The electronegativities and ionization energies of the metalloids are between those of the metals and nonmetals, so the metalloids exhibit characteristics of both classes. Silicon, for example, possesses a metallic luster, yet it is an inefficient conductor and is brittle. The reactivity of the metalloids depends on the element with which they are reacting. For example, boron acts as a nonmetal when reacting with sodium yet as a metal when reacting with fluorine. The boiling points, melting points, and densities of the metalloids vary widely. The intermediate conductivity of metalloids means they tend to make good semiconductors.
Summary of Common Properties
- Electronegativities between those of metals and nonmetals
- Ionization energies between those of metals and nonmetals
- Possess some characteristics of metals/some of nonmetals
- Reactivity depends on properties of other elements in reaction
- Often make good semiconductors