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Properties of Element Groups


Nitrogen is one of the nonmetals.

Nitrogen is one of the nonmetals.

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Metals | Nonmetals | Metalloids | Alkali Metals | Alkaline Earths | Transition Metals | Halogens | Noble Gases | Rare Earths | Lanthanides | Actinides

Location on the Periodic Table

The nonmetals are located on the upper right side of the periodic table. Nonmetals are separated from metals by a line that cuts diagonally through the region of the periodic table containing elements with partially filled p orbitals. Technically the halogens and noble gases are nonmetals, but the nonmetal element group usually is considered to consist of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur, and selenium.


Nonmetals have high ionization energies and electronegativities. They are generally poor conductors of heat and electricity. Solid nonmetals are generally brittle, with little or no metallic luster. Most nonmetals have the ability to gain electrons easily. Nonmetals display a wide range of chemical properties and reactivities.

Summary of Common Properties


  • High ionization energies
  • High electronegativities
  • Poor thermal conductors
  • Poor electrical conductors
  • Brittle solids
  • Little or no metallic luster
  • Gain electrons easily

Nonmetals Photo Gallery | Chemistry Encyclopedia

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