Silicon | Properties | Uses | and Facts - Elements and Compounds


Saturday, April 8, 2023

Silicon | Properties | Uses | and Facts

Properties Uses and Facts about Silicon

    What is Silicon

    Silicon is classified as a metalloid, and chemically it is an element. Metalloids are elements that show properties of both metals and non-metals. The density of silicon is 2.329 grams per cubic centimeter. Silicon has the symbol Si, atomic number 14, and atomic mass 28.0855 amu. Silicon atom has 14 electrons, 14 protons, 14 neutrons and 3 energy levels. In the Periodic Table, silicon is located in Group 14, Period 3 and Block (P). Silicon is found in the solid state at room temperature, its melting point is 1414 °C (2577 °F), and its boiling point is 3265 °C (5909 °F).

    Silicon was discovered by the Swedish chemist Jons Jacob Berzelius in 1824.
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    Silicon Properties Uses and Facts

    Properties of Silicon

    • Silicon is a blue-grey solid substance with a metallic luster.
    • Silicon is found in two forms (Allotropes), the first form is a brownish-black, crystalline shiny solid, and the second form has no crystalline structure, it is found as a brown powder.
    • The chemical behavior of silicon is electropositive.
    • Silicon is chemically similar to metals.
    • In its pure form, silicon is a semiconductor. Semiconductors are substances that conduct electricity better than non-conductors such as wood and rubber, but conduct less electricity than conductors such as copper and aluminum.
    • The electrical conductivity of silicon also increases with increase in temperature. This property of silicon makes it useful for the electronic industry.
    • Silicon is chemically almost inert at room temperature, but its chemical reactivity increases greatly at high temperatures.
    • Silicon has a strange property, on freezing too much, the volume of silicon also increases, just like water.

    Uses of Silicon

    • Silicon is most commonly used in alloying; silicon is combined with aluminium, iron, magnesium and copper to form a variety of alloys.
    • Ultrapure silicon is used extensively in the electronics, mobile and computer industries to manufacture semiconductors, microchips, transistors, rectifiers and solar cells.
    • Silicon is used as a main component in the production of cement and ceramics.
    • During steel production, some amount of silicon is added to steel to remove impurities from it.
    • Silicon is used in the manufacture of lubricants, greases, rubber materials and waterproofing materials.
    • Silicon is also used in medical implants.
    • Some amount of silicon is added to improve the strength and toughness of steel.
    • Silicon dioxide (sand) (SiO2) is used in the manufacture of glass and bricks.
    • Silicon carbide, which has almost the same hardness as diamond, is used as an abrasive in the manufacture of grinding wheels and other grinding tools.
    • Silica gel, a colloidal form of silicon dioxide (SiO2), is used as a moisture absorbent.
    • Sodium silicate is used in the production of soaps and adhesives.
    • Silicone oil is a lubricant, it is also used in some cosmetics.

    Interesting facts about Silicon

    • Silicon is the seventh most abundant element in the universe.
    • Silicon is the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust after oxygen.
    • Silicon dioxide (SiO2) is the most common compound of silicon, it is known as ordinary sand. Silicon dioxide (SiO2) is the most abundant compound in the Earth's crust.
    • Pure silicon is produced by heating sand (SiO2) with carbon to temperatures above 2200 °C.

    Detailed Information on Some other Elements

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