AskDefine | Define metalloid

Dictionary Definition

metalloid adj : of or being a nonmetallic element that has some of the properties of metal; "arsenic is a metalloid element"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. an element, such as silicon or germanium, intermediate in properties between that of a metal and a nonmetal; especially one that exhibits the external characteristics of a metal, but behaves chemically more as a nonmetal


Extensive Definition

Metalloid is a term used in chemistry when classifying the chemical elements. On the basis of their general physical and chemical properties, nearly every element in the periodic table can be termed either a metal or a nonmetal. A few elements with intermediate properties are, however, referred to as metalloids. (In Greek metallon = metal and eidos = sort)
There is no rigorous definition of the term, but the following properties are usually considered characteristic of metalloids:
The concepts of metalloid and semiconductor should not be confused. Metalloid refers to the properties of certain elements in relation to the periodic table. Semiconductor refers to the physical properties of materials (including alloys, compounds) and there is only partial overlap between the two.
The following elements are generally considered metalloids:
Some allotropes of elements exhibit more pronounced metal, metalloid or non-metal behavior than others. For example, for the element carbon, its diamond allotrope is clearly non-metallic, but the graphite allotrope displays limited electric conductivity more characteristic of a metalloid. Phosphorus, tin, selenium and bismuth also have allotropes that display borderline behavior.
In the standard layout of the periodic table, metalloids occur along the diagonal line through the p block from boron to astatine. Elements to the upper right of this line display increasing nonmetallic behaviour; elements to the lower left display increasing metallic behaviour. This line is called the "stair-step" or "staircase." The poor metals are to the left and down and the nonmetals are to the right and up.


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metalloid in Asturian: Metaloide
metalloid in Bosnian: Polumetali
metalloid in Bulgarian: Металоид
metalloid in Catalan: Metal·loide
metalloid in Czech: Polokov
metalloid in Danish: Halvmetal
metalloid in German: Halbmetalle
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metalloid in Modern Greek (1453-): Μεταλλοειδή
metalloid in Spanish: Metaloide
metalloid in Esperanto: Metaloido
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metalloid in French: Métalloïde
metalloid in Galician: Metaloide
metalloid in Korean: 준금속
metalloid in Croatian: Polumetali
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metalloid in Icelandic: Málmungur
metalloid in Italian: Semimetalli
metalloid in Hebrew: מתכות למחצה
metalloid in Javanese: Metaloid
metalloid in Lithuanian: Pusmetaliai
metalloid in Lombard: Mèzz-metàj
metalloid in Hungarian: Félfémek
metalloid in Malay (macrolanguage): Metaloid
metalloid in Dutch: Metalloïde
metalloid in Japanese: 半金属
metalloid in Norwegian: Halvmetall
metalloid in Norwegian Nynorsk: Halvmetall
metalloid in Low German: Halfmetall
metalloid in Polish: Półmetale
metalloid in Portuguese: Semimetal
metalloid in Romanian: Metaloid
metalloid in Quechua: Yaqa q'illay
metalloid in Russian: Полуметаллы
metalloid in Simple English: Metalloid
metalloid in Slovenian: Polkovina
metalloid in Serbian: Металоиди
metalloid in Serbo-Croatian: Metaloid
metalloid in Finnish: Puolimetalli
metalloid in Swedish: Metalloid
metalloid in Thai: ธาตุกึ่งโลหะ
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metalloid in Ukrainian: Напівметали
metalloid in Chinese: 类金属
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