Waugh, John L. T. Department of Chemistry, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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The element is dimorphic, existing as a yellow, metastable form composed of Sb4 molecules, as in antimony vapor and the structural unit in yellow antimony; and a gray, metallic form, which crystallizes with a layered rhombohedral structure. Antimony differs from normal metals in having a lower electrical conductivity as a solid than as a liquid (as does its congener, bismuth). Metallic antimony is quite brittle, bluish-white with a typical metallic luster, but a flaky appearance. Although stable in air at normal temperatures, it burns brilliantly when heated, with the formation of a white smoke of Sb2O3. Vaporization of the metal gives molecules of Sb4O6, which break down to Sb2O3 above the transition temperature. Some of the more significant properties of atomic and bulk antimony are given in the table.
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