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Last updated date: 08th Dec 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

Write the properties of metalloids.

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Hint: A small collection of elements present in the periodic table, that is found in a line that is of a zigzag manner are the elements called as metalloids. They are those elements that separate metals and nonmetals and metalloids are found from boron to polonium and astatine. The position of any element in the periodic table can itself predict the nature and properties of elements.

Complete answer:
Metalloid is the specific term used in chemistry to describe those elements in chemistry that produce a simple substance with characteristics that are transitional between the characteristics of a standard metal and those of a standard nonmetal.
They have properties that are a mixed form of the properties possessed by metals and non-metals. So we can sometimes say that they have confusing properties.
The properties of metalloids can be distinguished into those that are physical and chemical.
Metalloids physical properties are as follows:
- In general metalloids take a solid form or are found in the solid state of matter.
- Metalloids are quite brittle since they lie between metals and nonmetals. So their property of elasticity is that they are brittle in nature.
- They have an intermediate conductivity, intermediate between metals and nonmetals. So to specify metalloids act as semiconductors, not as conductive as metals but they do possess good conductive properties.
- Just like metals, metalloids possess a lustre referred to as the metallic lustre.
Metalloids chemical properties are as follows:
- Metalloids are able to form both allotropes of non-metals and metals, also they can be turned into alloys when combined with metals.
- Oxidation can take place with metalloids and in a way they can form glass like material.
- They are able to melt and as a result metalloids contract.
- Halogens like chlorine, iodine or fluorine react with metalloids in order to form new compounds.

A few applications where metalloids can be used are:
- Since silicon has the nature of a semiconductor, it may be used within the chips that are present in computers.
- Germanium is used in fluorescent lamps and detectors for infrared waves.
- Antimony is used as a pigment in paints.
- Boron, in limited doses, can be used as a pest control agent that is quite natural.