Elements which are present to the left of the periodic table are said as metals, though elements which are present to the far right of the periodic table are called as nonmetals. Semimetals or Metalloids are present just to the right of metals and possess properties of metals as well as nonmetals. Hydrogen (H) element is an exception, which is the first element of the periodic table and at normal temperature and pressure hydrogen shows the properties of a nonmetal.
Here, we will learn about the point on which metal, nonmetals, and metalloids differ.
Definition of Metals
Metals are the elements which are most abundantly found among all the elements. Metals are placed on the left side of the periodic table, and further moving up, and to the right, the metallic character decreases. Metals are also classified as basic metals, transition metals, alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, lanthanides (rare earth elements), and actinides.
Properties of Metals
- High lustre (shiny).
- Metallic appearance.
- Usually solid at room temperature (except mercury).
- Good conductors of electricity and heat.
- High malleable and ductile.
- May have a high melting point.
- Readily lose electrons.
- Oxidize in air and seawater.
The basic metals show characteristics of metals. Aluminium, bismuth, gallium, indium, lead, nihonium, thallium are some of the basic metals in the periodic table.
Transition Metals are characterized by having their subshells d or f partially filled. Due to this reason, these metals show coloured complexes. Vanadium, Scandium, Titanium, Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Copper, Nickel, Rhodium, Lanthanum, Silver, Gold, Mercury, Tungsten, Platinum, Palladium are some of the Transition metals located in the table.
The far left side of the periodic table in-group is the alkali metals. There are highly reactive metals. Potassium, Lithium, Sodium, Rubidium, Francium Cesium are some of the alkali metals. Hydrogen is an exception, as a pure element, it is found free in nature. Therefore hydrogen when in the metallic state is said as alkali metal but it is usually counted as a nonmetal.
Alkaline Earth Metals
The IIA group of the periodic table are known as the alkaline earth metals, and it is the second column of elements. These elements are less reactive than the alkali metals though the metals are shiny and hard as well as malleable and ductile. Beryllium, Magnesium, Radium, Barium, Strontium and Calcium are the names of alkaline the earth metals.
The lanthanides and actinides are placed below on the periodic table and are said as specific types of transition metals.
Definition of Non-Metals
These elements are located on the right side of the periodic table, (exception is hydrogen placed on the top left). They have low boiling and melting points.
Properties of Non-Metals
- They have a dull appearance.
- They are usually brittle.
- These are bad conductors of heat and electricity.
- They are often less dense.
- Nonmetals have a low melting point.
- They tend to gain electrons in chemical reactions.
Names of the Nonmetals are:
Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Phosphorus, Selenium, and Hydrogen (exception), Selenium, Fluorine, Chlorine, Tennessine, Argon, Neon, Helium, Radon, Krypton, Xenon, Oganesson.
Hydrogen and Helium make up to 99 per cent of the mass of the universe, even living organisms consist of nonmetals.
Definition of Metalloids
Metalloids are also known as semimetals. These elements have the properties of metals and nonmetals. Metalloids or semimetals play a role as semiconductors which are used in electronic devices and computers. In the periodic table, they are present in a zig-zag line between boron and aluminium and down to polonium and astatine. Metalloids may also be used to make ceramics, polymers, ceramics, and batteries.
Properties of Metalloids
- Metalloids can be shiny or dull.
- They usually conduct electricity and heat.
- Metalloids are good semiconductors.
- They usually exist in several forms.
- Metalloids are ductile and malleable.
- They gain or lose electrons in chemical reactions.
Names of the some metalloids
Germanium, Boron, Silicon, Arsenic, Antimony, Polonium, Tennessine Tellurium. Although Tennessine and Ogenesson are the exceptions in this case.
Key Differences Between Metals, Non-Metals, and Metalloids
- Metals are the elements which exhibit the highest degree of metallic behaviour is known as metals, on the contrary Nonmetals are such elements which do not possess any metallic behaviour, and Metalloids are those elements, that possess some of the properties like metal, while some like nonmetal.
- Metals are placed on the left side of the periodic table, and Nonmetals are placed on the right side of the periodic table and metalloids are placed in the middle of the periodic table.
- Metals are located in s, p, d, and f blocks in the periodic table, though nonmetals are located in s and p blocks and metalloids are located in p block of the periodic table.
- Metals have a shiny appearance, and nonmetals have a dull appearance; however, metalloids have a shiny and dull appearance.
- Thermal and electrical conductivity is high in metals, low in nonmetals, and it is good though is less than metals in metalloids.
- Metals have low electronegativity as compare to nonmetals, but metalloids are at an intermediate stage that possesses neither the too high or too low value of electronegativity.
- Metals show ductility and malleability, but nonmetals and metalloids do not display this property.
- Names of few metals are Lithium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Barium, Lead, Indium, Bismuth, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Nickel, etc. On the other hand Iodine, Bromine, Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Sulfur, Phosphorous, etc., are the some of the nonmetals, whereas Arsenic, Tellurium, Antimony, Polonium, Tennessine, etc., are some metalloids.
In this article, we studied the metals, nonmetals and metalloids and how their physical, as well as chemical properties, differ from each other. Here we focused on some examples like hydrogen which may behave like metals as well as nonmetals. All the elements are being displayed in the periodic table.