Answered By: Beth Hylen
Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016     Views: 118

I found some basic information about Metalloids at this website: 

"Metalloids are the elements found along the stair-step line that distinguishes metals from non-metals. This line is drawn from between Boron and Aluminum to the border between Polonium and Astatine. The only exception to this is Aluminum, which is classified under "Other Metals". Metalloids have properties of both metals and non-metals. Some of the metalloids, such as silicon and germanium, are semi-conductors. This means that they can carry an electrical charge under special conditions. This property makes metalloids useful in computers and calculators."

The Metalloids are:

Yes, many of these metalloids are common components of glass batch.

I am sending a chapter from a book entitled Glasses that provides information about batch materials including silica, boron, and more.  Borax Consolidated, ltd. Glasses. London: [the author, 1965]. (A "20 mule team" publication)

This Wikipedia article provides more information specifically about metalloids and their use in modern glasses:

"Glass formation[edit]

"The oxides B2O3, SiO2, GeO2, As2O3 and Sb2O3 readily form glasses. TeO2 forms a glass but this requires a 'heroic quench rate' or the addition of an impurity; otherwise the crystalline form results.[164] These compounds have found or continue to find practical uses in chemical, domestic and industrial glassware[165] and optics.[166] Boron trioxide is used as a glass fibre additive;[167] it is also a component of borosilicate glass, which is widely used for laboratory glassware, as well as in home ovenware.[168] Silicon dioxide forms the basis of ordinary domestic glassware.[169] Germanium dioxide is used as glass fibre additive, as well as in infrared optical systems.[170] Arsenic trioxide is used in the glass industry as a decolourizing and fining agent, as is antimony trioxide.[171] Tellurium dioxide finds application in laser and nonlinear optics.[172]

"Amorphous metallic glasses are generally most easily prepared if one of the components is a metalloid or 'near metalloid' such as boron, carbon, silicon, phosphorus or germanium.[173][n 20] Aside from thin films deposited at very low temperatures, the first known metallic glass was a metal-metalloid alloy of composition Au75Si25 reported in 1960.[175] A metallic glass having a strength and toughness not previously seen in any other material, of composition Pd82.5P6Si9.5Ge2, was reported in 2011.[176]

"Phosphorus, selenium and lead, which are elements less often recognised as metalloids, are also used in glasses. Phosphate glass has a substrate of phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5), rather than the silica (SiO2) of convention silicate glasses and is used, for example, to make sodium lamps.[177] Selenium compounds can be used both as decolourising agents and to add a red colour to glass.[178] Decorative glassware made of traditional lead glass contains at least 30% lead(II) oxide (PbO); lead glass used for radiation shielding may have up to 65% PbO.[179] Lead-based glasses have also been extensively used in or as electronics components; enameling; sealing and glazing materials; and solar cells. Bismuth based oxide-glasses have emerged as a less toxic replacement for lead in many of these applications.[180]

"Fibre-optic strands, usually made of pure silicon dioxide glass, but with additives such as boron trioxide or germanium dioxide for increased sensitivity."

Be sure to check the full article and the bibliography of materials cited.

I added a bibliography of books relating to the chemistry of glass. Please let me know if you have additional questions.


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