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Five elements are less frequently so classified: carbon, aluminium, selenium, polonium, and astatine.On a standard periodic table, all eleven are in a diagonal area in the p-block extending from boron at the upper left to astatine at lower right, along the dividing line between metals and nonmetals shown on some periodic tables. Most of their other physical and chemical properties are intermediate in nature.This can be found, in varying configurations, on some periodic tables.Elements to the lower left of the line generally display increasing metallic behaviour; elements to the upper right display increasing nonmetallic behaviour.Metalloids usually look like metals but behave largely like nonmetals.Physically, they are shiny, brittle solids with intermediate to relatively good electrical conductivity and the electronic band structure of a semimetal or semiconductor.Depictions of metalloids vary according to the author.

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The term metalloid also has been used for elements that exhibit metallic lustre and electrical conductivity, and that are amphoteric, such as arsenic, antimony, vanadium, chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, tin, lead, and aluminium.

listed twelve (Emsley's plus boron, carbon, silicon, selenium, bismuth, polonium, moscovium and livermorium).

On average, seven elements are included in such lists; individual classification arrangements tend to share common ground and vary in the ill-defined used three criteria to describe the six elements commonly recognised as metalloids: metalloids have ionization energies around 200 kcal/mol (837 k J/mol) and electronegativity values close to 2.0.

Typical metalloids have a metallic appearance, but they are brittle and only fair conductors of electricity. Metalloids are usually too brittle to have any structural uses.

They and their compounds are used in alloys, biological agents, catalysts, flame retardants, glasses, optical storage and optoelectronics, pyrotechnics, semiconductors, and electronics.

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