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What is antimony?

Antimony

The antimony is a chemical element semimetal that can exist in two forms: the metal which is bright, silvery, hard and brittle; and the non-metallic form which is a gray powder. It is a poor conductor of heat and electricity, it is stable in dry air and it is not attacked by dilute acids or alkalis. Antimony is a mineral that has been known since ancient times . It can sometimes be found free in nature, but it is generally obtained from the minerals stibnite and valentinite . The symbol of this mineral is the Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power, and good health. The ancient Egyptians used antimony sulfide as a mascara.

Antimony

  • Symbol : Sb
  • Atomic number : 51
  • Group:  15, Metalloids

What is antimony?

It is a chemical element of the periodic table that can be found freely in nature. Poor conductor of heat and electricity is a mineral that has been known since ancient times .

  • Antimony characteristics
  • History
  • Who discovered antimony
  • Properties
  • What is antimony for

Antimony characteristics

Among its main characteristics we can mention the following:

  • The symbol with which antimony is represented is Sb
  • It is classified as a nitrogenoid element of Group 15 of the metalloids
  • Its Atomic number is 51
  • Its atomic mass is 121,760
  • The number of protons and electrons it has is 51
  • Its neutron number is 71
  • Its electronic structure is as follows: [Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p3
  • It has an electronegativity of just 2.05
  • Its ionization energy (kJ.mol-1) is 834
  • Its atomic radius is 141
  • Its melting point is 630.63 C °
  • The boiling point is 1587 C °
  • It has a density (kg / m3) of 6691
  • Its atomic volume (cm3 / mol) is 18.20
  • It has a crystalline structure and a rhombohedral shape
  • It is bluish white

History

Antimony and the compounds that formed it were widely known in ancient times , we can even find a vase made of antimony with more than 5,000 years in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The antimony sulfide (Sb2S3) is mentioned in a papyrus of the people Egyptian of the century XVI. C. The black form of this pigment, which occurs naturally as the mineral stibnite , was used as a mask and was known in its day as khol . The most famous historical person who used this mineral was Jezebel whose exploits are recorded in the Bible . During the 6th and 7th centuries BC, another pigment known for theChaldean civilization in what is now southern Iraq and was known as yellow lead antimonite . This mineral was also found in the glaze of bricks that decorated the people of Babylon and dates from the time of Nebuchadnezzar. It was used widely in medieval times , mainly to harden lead for its characteristics, although some were taken medicinally as a laxative pill.

Who discovered antimony

Antimony is a mineral for which there are ancestral data as it is even mentioned in the Old Testament , although possibly the inhabitants of the time did not know it in its metallic state and it was confused with its sulfur. There is no specific person who discovered it, but its different properties were described around the year 1450 by the German alchemist Basil Valentine , who is considered to be its discoverer.

Properties

  • It has an electronegativity of 2.05.
  • It is very stable when in air at room temperature , but reacts with oxygen if heated to produce antimony trioxide.
  • It is a lustrous silver gray metalloid with a hardness on the Mohs scale of 3, which means it is too soft to make hard objects.
  • It is resistant to acid attack.
  • Four allotropes of antimony are known: a stable metallic form and three metastable forms .
  • Elemental Antimony is a metalloid bright brittle , silver and white .
  • When slowly cooled, molten antimony can crystallize into a trigonal cell .
  • A rare explosive form of antimony can be created from the electrolysis of antimony trichloride.

What is antimony for

When it is in its natural form it can be used in the manufacture of different semiconductor devices , in the creation of infrared detectors and diodes . It is widely used in the creation of different alloys with other metals such as lead, to achieve the manufacture of batteries , weapons , coatings for cables and different industrial products . It is an important component in soft welds that are fused at temperatures below 325 ° K. Its main function is to consolidate the weld and suppress the formation of allotropes. of tin.

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