The fourteenth element on the periodic table, having an atomic mass of 28.085 grams/mole. There are 14 electrons orbiting the nucleus, which contains 14 protons. The most common isotope of this element also contains 14 neutrons in the nucleus. The ground state configuration of this element is: 1s22s22p63s23p2.

Symbol: Si
Atomic Number: 14
Boiling Point(K): 2630
Melting Point(K): 1683
Density at 300K: 2.33
Covalent radius: 1.11
Atomic radius: 1.46
Atomic volume: 12.1
First ionization potental: 8.151
Specific heat capacity: 0.70
Thermal conductivity: 148
Electrical conductivity: 4x10^-4
Heat of fusion: 50.2
Heat of vaporization: 359
Electronegativity: 1.90

To the Periodic Table

Introduction to Silicon

Silicon is the 14th element in the periodic table, and the second most abundant on the earth (27.7% of the Earth's crust is made of silicon). It is also one of the most important in modern everyday living. It is used in an amazing variety of ways, from doped silicon transistors in the Playstation 2, to the silicone gel used in plastic surgery. It is the driving force behind almost all modern technology, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. It is used in medicines, cosmetics, and incorporated into food processing in the form of silicone, a synthetic polymer based on silicon. These uses make it among the most important elements currently used by man.

The Uses of Silicon

Elemental silicon is used particularly in the production of transistors, now one of the most important electrical components contributing to modern life, and is thus the driving force behind the electronic revolution. Silicon is used in transistors because of its properties as a semi-conductor and for this purpose it must be doped. Transistors are the major functional component of computers and most other modern electronic devices. Silicon is also used in solar cells (hydrogenated amorphous silicon has shown promise in producing economical cells for converting solar energy into electricity), rectifiers, and other solid-state devices which are used extensively in the electronics and space-age industries.

Silicon is also used in many non-electrical devices. In the form of sand and clay it is used to make concrete and brick; it is a useful refractory material for high-temperature work, and in the form of silicates it is used in making enamels and pottery. Silica, as sand, is a principal ingredient of glass. Silicon tetrachloride can be used to iridize glass.

Silicon is also an important ingredient in steel; silicon carbide is one of the most important abrasives and has been used in lasers to produce coherent light of 4560 A.

Silcones are important products of silicon. Hydrolysis and condensation of various substituted chlorosilanes can be used to produce a very great number of polymeric products, or silicones, ranging from liquids to hard, glasslike solids with many useful properties.

signal-to-noise ratio = S = silly walk

silicon n.

Hardware, esp. ICs or microprocessor-based computer systems (compare iron). Contrasted with software. See also sandbender.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Sil"i*con (?), n. [See Silica.] Chem.

A nonmetalic element analogous to carbon. It always occurs combined in nature, and is artificially obtained in the free state, usually as a dark brown amorphous powder, or as a dark crystalline substance with a meetallic luster. Its oxide is silica, or common quartz, and in this form, or as silicates, it is, next to oxygen, the most abundant element of the earth's crust. Silicon is characteristically the element of the mineral kingdom, as carbon is of the organic world. Symbol Si. Atomic weight 28. Called also silicium.

<-- it is used as the basis for the most common type of transistors, in the form of a highly purified silicon impregnated with small quantities of imourities such as phosphorus or antimony, giving it special semiconductor properties. In this application, it forms the primary basis for the modern (post-1970) electronics industry, with integrated circuits containing millions of electronic componnets being imprinted by special processes on silicon chips less than one inch in diameter. -->


© Webster 1913.

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