Is Boron Conductive?

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Boron is the fifth element and has 5 protons in its nucleus and five electrons in its valence shell. It is a poor conductor of electricity at low temperatures. It belongs to the class of elements known as semiconductors. This means that it doesn’t have enough free electrons in its valence band to conduct well. This is why it is not used in conductors such as copper and aluminum. However it is used in ceramics such as boron nitride, bulletproof vests, and the glass in your windows. It is also found in fiberglass and flare guns. It is also useful in powder metallurgy and the production of pure metals because it helps to remove impurities like oxygen and nitrogen. Boron is also very useful in alloys because it increases the strength and hardness of the material. It is also used in nuclear reactors to absorb fast neutrons.

The element boron is a solid at room temperature and is the hardest element on Earth except for carbon in its diamond form. It has one of the highest melting points and lowest boiling points of any element. It is also highly resistant to heat and chemical attack. It is only very slightly reactive with acids and is not soluble in water. However, amorphous boron and crystalline borate minerals are very brittle. It was first isolated in 1808 by French chemists Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis-Joseph Thenard and Sir Humphrey Davy. It is a poor conductor of electric currents in its elemental form but it does become a good conductor at very high temperatures. It is the least electronegative non-metal and therefore easily bonds with electron-rich substances as it seeks to fill its empty valence orbitals. This behavior and its low conductivity at lower temperatures leads it to be classified as a metalloid rather than a metal.