Metalloids are also known as “semi-metals”. They are found in the d block of the periodic table. In the d block, they are on the stair-step line that separates metals from non-metals. The line is drawn from the border of aluminum and boron to the border between polonium and astatine. Aluminum, however, is not a metalloid but a metal. Metalloids are called “semi-metals” because they have the properties of both metals and non-metals. Some of the metalloids are semi-conductors. Metalloids are better conductors of electricity than non-metals, and they conduct electricity more efficiently at higher temperatures. Many metalloids are used in the computer/electronics industries because of their capacity for conducting electricity. Some of the metalloids also possess a metallic luster. Usually metalloids establish covalent bonding when they are in compounds.

Met"al*loid (?), n. [L. metallum metal + -oid: cf. F. m'etalloide.] (a)

Formerly, the metallic base of a fixed alkali, or alkaline earth; -- applied by Sir H. Davy to sodium, potassium, and some other metallic substances whose metallic character was supposed to be not well defined.


Now, one of several elementary substances which in the free state are unlike metals, and whose compounds possess or produce acid, rather than basic, properties; a nonmetal; as, boron, carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur, chlorine, bromine, etc., are metalloids.


© Webster 1913.

Met"al*loid, a.


Having the appearance of a metal.

2. Chem.

Having the properties of a nonmetal; nonmetallic; acid; negative.


© Webster 1913.

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