Skip Navigation
You are viewing an older version of this Concept. Go to the latest version.


Characteristics of Group 17 of the periodic table.

Atoms Practice
Estimated2 minsto complete
Practice Halogens
This indicates how strong in your memory this concept is
Estimated2 minsto complete
Practice Now
Turn In
Too Slippery for a Gecko

Too Slippery for a Gecko

Credit: Tim Vickers
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uroplatus_fimbriatus_(3).jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

This gecko is climbing straight up window glass. Glass is a slippery surface, but it’s not too slippery for a gecko. In fact, there is only one known surface that is too slippery for a gecko to climb. Its chemical name is polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short. You probably know it by the brand name Teflon®.

News You Can Use

  • There’s a good chance that at least one pot or pan in your kitchen has a black plastic coating. That plastic is Teflon®.
  • Credit: Jerry Pank
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cookipedia/5375979354
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Teflon covered pans are popular because they are very easy to clean [Figure2]

  • Since the 1950s, Teflon® has been a kitchen staple as a nonstick surface for pots and pans because it’s so slippery. But Teflon® has other properties that make it useful for a wide variety of purposes.
  • You can learn more about Teflon®, its uses, and its discovery by watching this short video: http://on.aol.com/video/learn-about-the-origin-of-teflon-83227122

Show What You Know

Find out more about Teflon® at the links below. Then answer the following questions.

  1. How was Teflon® discovered?
  2. What is the chemical structure of Teflon®?
  3. Fluorine is a halogen, and halogens are among the most reactive of all chemical elements. Why is Teflon® nonreactive? What applications of Teflon® take advantage of this property of the material?
  4. Aluminum, which is widely used for cookware, has a coefficient of friction of about 0.61. What is the coefficient of friction? What is the coefficient of friction of Teflon®?
  5. Teflon® is hydrophobic. What does this mean?
  6. Besides cookware, Teflon® is used to make many other products for the home and for personal use. What are some of these products, and why is Teflon® used to make them?

Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Tim Vickers; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uroplatus_fimbriatus_(3).jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Jerry Pank; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cookipedia/5375979354; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Explore More

Sign in to explore more, including practice questions and solutions for Halogens.
Please wait...
Please wait...