Non Metals

Definition, Properties and Examples of Non Metals

Nonmetals (and metalloids) in the periodic table:

Apart from hydrogen, nonmetals are positioned in the p-block. Helium, as an s-block compound, would generally be placed next to hydrogen and above beryllium. But, since it is a noble gas, it is instead placed above neon (in the p-block).

In chemistry, a nonmetal is a chemical compound or element that mainly lacks metallic characteristics. Physically, nonmetals tend to have comparatively low boiling and melting points, and densities, are mostly breakable if solid, and are typically poor conductors of electricity and heat; chemically, they tend to have fairly electron affinity, high ionization energy, and electronegativity values, and increase or share electrons when they are treated with other compound elements.17 elements are usually classified as nonmetals; typically are gases such as nitrogen, hydrogen, helium, neon, oxygen, chlorine, argon, fluorine, krypton, radon, and xenon; one is a liquid- bromine and some are solids such as carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, selenium, and iodine. Metalloids like boron, silicon, and germanium are occasionally counted as nonmetals.

The nonmetals are distributed into two groups reflecting their relative tendency to create chemical compounds specifically reactive nonmetals and noble gases. The reactive nonmetals differ in nonmetallic character. The less electronegative of them, like sulfur and carbon, typically have weak to relatively strong nonmetallic properties and tend to create covalent elements with metals. The more electronegative of the reactive nonmetals, examples fluorine and oxygen are characterized by stronger nonmetallic properties and a tendency to become predominantly ionic compounds or elements with metals. The noble gases are well-known for their great hesitancy to form compounds with other elements.

There is no definition of a nonmetal. Generally, any element lacking or having a deficiency in the preponderance of metallic attributes can be considered as a nonmetal.

The elements usually classified as nonmetals contain 1 compound in group 1 (hydrogen); 1 in group 14 (carbon); 2 in group 15 ( phosphorus and nitrogen );3 in group 16 ( sulfur, oxygen and selenium); most of group 17 ( chlorine, fluorine, bromine and iodine); and all of group 18 (with the possible omission of oganesson).

As there is no extensively agreed definition of a nonmetal, compounds in the periodic table surrounding where the metals meet the nonmetals are inconsistently categorized by different authors. compounds sometimes also categorized as nonmetals are the metalloids silicon (Si), boron (B), arsenic (As), germanium (Ge), tellurium (Te), antimony (Sb) and astatine (At). The nonmetal selenium (Se) is sometimes in its place classified as a metalloid, mainly in environmental chemistry.


Nonmetals display extra variability in their properties than the metals. These properties are mainly determined by molecular structures of the nonmetals involved and the interatomic bonding strengths, both of which are subject to the difference as the number of valence electrons in each nonmetal differs. Metals, in contrast, have additional homogenous structures and their properties are more easily submissive.

Physically, they mostly exist as monatomic or diatomic gases, with the remainder having more large (open-packed) forms, unlike metals, which are approximately all close-packed and solid. If solid, they consist a submetallic appearance (with the exemption of sulfur) and are typically brittle, as opposed to metals, which are shiny, and usually  or malleable ductile; they usually have fewer densities than metals; are typically poorer conductors of  electricity and heat and tend to have significantly lower  boiling points and melting points than those of metals.

They have high electron affinities (the noble gases and nitrogen and have negative electron affinities) and ionization energies, and high electronegativity values noting that, in general, the higher an electron affinity, element's ionization energy, and electronegativity, the more nonmetallic that element is. Nonmetals (counting – to a limited extent – xenon and probably radon) usually occur as oxyanions or anions in aqueous solution; they normally form ionic or covalent compounds when combined together with metals (unlike metals, which typically form alloys with other metals); and have acidic oxides whereas the common oxides of closely all metals are basic.

Hydrogen is prominent for the different ways it forms bonds. It most usually forms covalent bonds. It can lose its single valence electron in aqueous solution, leaving behind a simple proton with tremendous polarizing power. This later attaches itself to the lone electron pair of an oxygen atom in a water molecule, thereby making the basis of acid-base chemistry. Under specific conditions, a hydrogen atom in a molecule can create a second, weaker, bond with a group of atoms in another molecule.
From neon to boron, as the 2p subshell has no inner analog and experiences no electron repulsion effects it consequently has a comparatively small radius, unlike the 3p, 4p and 5p subshells of heavier elements (a similar effect is seen in the 1s compounds, hydrogen, and helium). Electronegativity and Ionization energies among these elements are consequently greater than would otherwise be predicted, having regard to periodic trends. The small atomic radii of nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen help the formation of triple or double bonds. Greater coordination numbers will allow bigger atomic radii and lower electronegativities, which better bear higher positive charges, of the heavier group 15–18 nonmetals that means they are able to show valences other than the lowest for their group (that is, 3, 2, 1, or 0) for instance in SF6, IF7, PCl5, and XeF2. Group 4 elements directly after the first row of the transition metals, such as bromine and selenium, have oddly small atomic radii because of the 3d electrons are not effective at shielding the rise in nuclear charge, and smaller atomic size relates with higher electronegativity.


In the periodic table as you see on the leftmost nonmetals on the table are metalloids such as silicon, boron, and germanium, which usually behave chemically like nonmetals, and are comprised here for comparative purposes. In this sense, they can be observed as the most metallic of nonmetallic compounds.

Based on shared characteristics, the nonmetals can be distributed into the two groups of noble gas and a reactive nonmetal. The metalloids and the 2 nonmetal groups then span development in chemical nature from weakly nonmetallic, to moderately nonmetallic, to strongly nonmetallic, to nearly inert. Analogous categories happen among the metals in the type of the weakly metallic (the post-transition metals), the moderately metallic (mainly of the transition metals), the strongly metallic (alkaline earth metals, the alkali metal, and the lanthanides and actinides), and the comparatively inert (the noble transition metals).
As with categorization schemes normally, there is a certain difference and overlapping of properties within and across every group. One or more of the metalloids are sometimes categorized as nonmetals. Among the reactive nonmetals such as phosphorus, carbon, selenium, and iodine—which border the metalloids—show certain metallic character, so does hydrogen. Among the noble gases, radon is the highly metallic and begins to display various cationic behaviors, which is rare or uncommon for a nonmetal


The 7 metalloids are silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), boron (B), arsenic (As), tellurium (Te), antimony (Sb), and astatine (At). On a regular periodic table, they occupy a transverse area in the p-block spreading from boron at the upper left to astatine at lower right, along with the separating line between metals and nonmetals displayed on some periodic tables. They are known as metalloids mainly in light of their physical appearance to metals.

While they each have a metallic form, they are delicate and only fair conductors of electricity. Boron, germanium, tellurium, and silicon, are semiconductors. Antimony and arsenic and have the electronic band configurations of semimetals even though both have less stable semiconducting allotropes. Astatine has been expected to have a metallic crystalline structure.

Reactive nonmetal

They have a various range of distinct physical and chemical properties. In periodic table terms, they mainly occupy a position among the weakly nonmetallic metalloids to the left and the noble gases to the right.

Materially, five are in solids states, one is a liquid state (bromine), and five are gases states. Of the solids selenium, carbon and iodine are having a metallic resemblance, whereas sulfur has a pale-yellow form. Simple white phosphorus has a yellowish-white look but the black allotrope, which is the most stable kind of phosphorus, has a metallic-looking form. Bromine is a reddish-brown and exists in a liquid state. Of the gases, fluorine and chlorine are having pale yellow and yellowish green respectively. Electrically, most are insulators whereas carbon is a semimetal and black selenium, phosphorus, and iodine are semiconductors.

Noble gas

6 nonmetals are categorized as noble gases: Neon (Ne), helium (He), krypton (Kr), argon (Ar), xenon (Xe), and the radioactive radon (Rn). In periodic table terms, they take the outermost right column. They are known noble gases in light of their typically very low chemical reactivity.

They have very identical properties, all being colorless, odorless, and non-flammable. With their closed valence shells, the noble gases have feeble interatomic forces of attraction causing in very low boiling points and melting point. That is why reason that they are all gases under standard conditions, even those with atomic masses greater than several normally solid elements.
Chemically, the noble gases have comparatively high ionization energies, negative electron affinities, and fairly high electronegativities. Compounds of the noble gases number fewer than half a thousand, with most of these happening through fluorine or oxygen combining with krypton, xenon or radon.