10 Difference Between Metals, Nonmetals And Metalloids (With Examples)

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Learn the difference between metals, nonmetals and Metalloids. The basis of comparison include: description, appearance, malleability and ductility, position on the periodic table, electronegativity , conductivity of heat and electricity, boiling and melting points.

What are Metals?

A metal in chemistry can be defined as an element that readily forms positive ions and has metallic bonds. Metals are opaque, lustrous elements that are good conductors of heat and electricity. Most metals are malleable and ductile and are in general, denser than the other elemental substances. Metals can be recycled repeatedly without altering their properties.

What are Non-Metals?

A non-metal is an element that does not possess the properties of a metal, that is, can’t be made into wire; neither can it conduct heat nor electricity. Solid nonmetals are generally brittle, with little or no metallic luster. Usually, nonmetals mostly located on the right side of the periodic table. Also, nonmetals have high ionization energies and have ability to gain electrons easily.

What are Metalloids?

A metalloid is an element that has properties that are intermediate between those of metals and nonmetals. Metalloids are located to the right of metals and to the left of nonmetals in the periodic table. They are solids under standard conditions and can easily form alloys with Metals. Some the elements that are generally considered metalloids include: boron, arsenic, antimony, silicon, germanium, selenium, polonium and tellurium.

Key Differences

Appearance

Metals: Metals are shiny in appearance.

Nonmetals: Nonmetals are dull in appearance.

Metalloids: Metalloids can either be dull or shiny.

Thermal and Electrical Conductivity         

Metals: Metals are good conductors of both heat and electricity.

Nonmetals:  Nonmetals are bad conductors of heat and electricity.       

Metalloids: Metalloids are good conductors of heat and electricity, but not as good as metals.

Electronegativity

Metals:  Metals have a very low electronegativity.

Nonmetals: Nonmetals have a high electronegativity.

Metalloids: Metalloids have an intermediate value of electronegativity.

Malleability and Ductility          

Metals: Metals are malleable and ductile in nature.

Nonmetals: Nonmetals are neither malleable nor ductile in nature.

Metalloids:  Just like nonmetals, metalloids are neither ductile nor malleable in nature.

Block In The Periodic Table

Metals: Metals are found in S, P, D and F blocks of the periodic table.

Nonmetals: Nonmetals are found in S and P blocks of the periodic table.

Metalloids: Metalloids are found in P block.

Position In The Periodic Table

Metals: Metals are located on the left side of the periodic table.

Nonmetals: Nonmetals are located in the right side of the periodic table.

Metalloids: Metalloids are located in the middle of the periodic table.

Also Read: Difference Between Cations And Anions

Difference Between Metals, Nonmetals And Metalloids In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON METALS NONMETALS METALLOIDS
Description A metal in chemistry can be defined as an element that readily forms positive ions and has metallic bonds. A non-metal is an element that does not possess the properties of a metal, that is, can’t be made into wire; neither can it conduct heat nor electricity. A metalloid is an element that has properties that are intermediate between those of metals and nonmetals.
Appearance Metals are shiny in appearance.   Nonmetals are dull in appearance.   Metalloids can either be dull or shiny.  
Electrical and Thermal Conductivity Metals are good conductors of both heat and electricity.   Nonmetals are bad conductors of heat and electricity.                             Nonmetals are bad conductors of heat and electricity.                            
Electronegativity Metals have a very low electronegativity.   Nonmetals have a high electronegativity. Metalloids have an intermediate value of electronegativity.  
Malleability And Ductility Metals are malleable and ductile in nature.   Nonmetals are neither malleable nor ductile in nature.   Metalloids are neither ductile nor malleable in nature.
Block In The Periodic Table Metals are found in S, P, D and F blocks of the periodic table.   Nonmetals are found in S and P blocks of the periodic table. Metalloids are found in P block.
Position In The Periodic Table Metals are located on the left side of the periodic table. Nonmetals are located in the right side of the periodic table.   Metalloids are located in the middle of the periodic table.

Also Read: Difference Between Alloy, Composite And Compound