Competitive Chemistry topic – “Metalloids and Their Properties”, is important for all competitive exams like CET- Common eligibility Test, SSC CGL, SSC CHSL, RRB NTPC, UPSC and other state civil service exams. In these exams, almost 4-5 questions are coming from Chemistry. Let’s start the topic:
Metalloids and Their Properties:
- Metalloids are elements with properties intermediate between metals and non-metals.
- Metalloids can also be called semimetals.
- They have properties of both metals and non-metals.
- They appear to be metal in appearance, but are brittle.
- Metalloids and their compounds are used in the manufacturing of alloys, biological agents, glasses, optical storage.
- Commonly known metalloids are silicon, boron, germanium, arsenic, antimony, and tellurium.
- The most abundant of the metalloids on Earth is silicon which is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust after oxygen.
- The least abundant is tellurium which is one of the rarest stable elements on Earth.
- Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen.
- Silicon occurs in nature in the form of sand but never found in the Free State.
- Silica is also called sand which exists most abundantly in the solid state in nature and used in the production of glass, cement, etc.
- Quartz is a crystalline form of SiO2.
- Silicon carbide is an artificial diamond called Carborendum.
Use of metalloids:-
- Silicon is one of the most important materials used to make electronics such as computers and mobile phones.
- Arsenic is known to be one of the most poisonous of the elements.
- Lead alloys that are used in manufacturing of bullets used arsenic.
- When arsenic is mixed with gallium, it can be used as a semiconductor and finds application in LEDs.
- Antimony and Tellurium are primarily used in metal alloys.
- Boron is used in fireworks as it has the quality of changing colour into green when it is burnt. It is one of the most explosive metalloids.
- Germanium is used in semiconductor industries to improve the conductive properties.
- Antimony is used as one of the ingredients in paints and ceramic enamels.
- Polonium is the rarest element and highly radioactive and toxic in nature.
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