Periodic Table -> Boron


Boron Details

Boron Symbol: B

Boron Atomic Number: 5

Boron Atomic Weight: 10.811

What is Boron?

Boron (symbol B, atomic number 5) is a chemical element and a metalloid. Because stellar nucleosynthesis does not lead to the production of boron, it is only available in small amounts in the earth's crust and the solar system. Due to the water solubility of borate minerals, which are naturally occurring compounds of boron, the element is concentrated on Earth. Borate minerals are mined in the form of evaporate ores, including kernite and borax.

The chemically uncombined form of boron does not occur naturally on Earth. Pure boron is not easily produced because it forms different refractory materials which contain other elements (e. g. small amounts of carbon). The chemical was discovered by the French chemists Louis-Jaques Thénard and Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac and independently by the English chemist Sir Humphry Davy. The three chemists isolated the element by combining potassium and boric acid. Today, it is produced in pure form by heating borax with carbon. If half-purity is required, other methods can be used as well.

There are several compounds of boron that are of commercial importance. Sodium borate pentahydrate is the most important such compound. The manufacturing of sodium perborate bleach and fiberglass insulation require large amounts of sodium borate pentahydrate. Boric acid is another commercially important compound used in the production of cellulose insulation and textile fiberglass. Sodium borate decahydrate, known as borax, is also commercially important. It has applications as a mild antiseptic and in the manufacture of laundry products. Other compounds of boron are used to produce enamel for covering steel, borosilicate glasses, and as a potential medication to treat arthritis.

Boron filaments are lightweight and high-strength materials used mainly as an element of composite materials for aerospace structures as well as for the manufacturing of sporting and consumer goods such as fishing rods and golf clubs. Vapor deposition of the element on a tungsten filament can be used to produce the fibers. Sodium perborate is used as the source of active oxygen in cleaning products, laundry detergents, detergents, and laundry bleaches. While it is called "Borateem", the laundry bleach does not contain boron compounds any longer, and the bleaching agent contained is sodium percarbonate. Boric acid also has commercial importance and is used as an insecticide, especially against cockroaches, fleas, and ants.

The chemical is also a dopant for germanium, silicon, silicon carbide, and other semiconductors. It donates a hole, and this results in p-type conductivity. Atomic diffusion is the method used to introduce the element into semiconductors, carried out at high temperatures. Gaseous, liquid, or solid boron sources can be used in the process.

In flares and pyrotechnics, boron produces a green color, and it has been used as a source of ignition in some rockets. An isotope occurring in nature, boron-10 absorbs neutrons and is employed as a neutron detector, as a radiation shield, and in nuclear reactors for control rods.

Chemically, boron has more similarities with silicon than with thallium, indium, gallium, and aluminum. It has a black color and is semi-metallic, available commercially. Crystalline boron exhibits chemical inertness. Super-hard boron compounds include boron nitride, heterodiamand, and rhenium diboride, which has a hexagonal layered structure. The naturally occurring isotopes of boron are two while isotopes are 13 in number. 10B or enriched boron is used in boron neutron capture therapy and in radiation shielding.

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