Boron, with atomic number 5, is very stable in its elemental form. It is used in a wide range of industries from aerospace engineering to composite materials, electronics, and construction materials. The chemical properties of boron are very stable even at high temperatures. It is also very resistant to light and heat and is often used as an insulator. It is also known to reduce the formation of ice on airplane windshields and in spacecraft.
It is the third most common element in nature, found in a wide variety of minerals such as borax, boric acid and borsilicate glass. It is also used as a fertilizer and in the production of enamels for covering steel. It is a very important nutrient for plants and is also an effective cancer chemotherapy agent in the form of the drug bortezomib.
Unlike its neighbours in group 13, lithium and beryllium, or aluminium, its closest sibling in group 12, boron does not shed electrons to form covalent bonds. Its one fewer valance electron forces it into bonding with other elements that do have enough electrons to have an electron octet. This explains why it is unable to make salts like its Group 13 siblings and instead forms permanent compounds with other atoms.
This is because it has a very weakly negative electronegativity and a large size, making it difficult for it to attract nearby electrons to itself. Instead, it has a tendency to form strong bonds with larger molecules that can give away more of their electrons, such as fluorine. When boron is combined with fluorine it can accept six of the eight electrons that fluorine has, forming an electron deficient molecule called BCl3.