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Silicon (Si): Fun Facts and Information About the Element

What is the symbol? Si
What is the atomic number? 14
What is the atomic weight? 28.0855
What is the melting point in Celsius? 1410
What is the boiling point in Celsius? 2355
What is the density (g/cm3)? 2.33
What percent of the earths crust? 27.69
What year was Silicon discovered? 1824
Who discovered the element? Jöns Jacob Berzelius
What group is the element in? 14
What is the electron configuration? [Ne] 3s2 3p2
What is the ionization energy? 8.1517
What element category is Silicon in? Metalloids

Where is Silicon Found?

Silicon is present in the sun and stars and is a principal component of a class of meteorites known as aerolites.

Silicon makes up 25.7% of the earth’s crust, by weight, and is the second most abundant element. Sand, quartz, rock crystal, amethyst, agate, flint, jasper, and opal are some of the forms in which the oxide appears. Granite, hornblende, asbestos, feldspar, clay, mica, etc. are but a few of the numerous silicate minerals.

Silicon is prepared commercially by heating silica and carbon in an electric furnace, using carbonelectrodes. Several other methods can be used for preparing the element. How is amorphous Silicon prepared? Amorphous silicon can be prepared as a brown powder, which can be easily melted or vaporized. When is the Czochralski process used? The Czochralski process is commonly used to produce single crystals of silicon used for solid-state or semiconductor devices. How is Hyperpure Silicon prepared? Hyperpure silicon can be prepared by the thermal decomposition of ultra-pure trichlorosilane in a hydrogen atmosphere, and by a vacuum float zone process.

What is Silicon Used For?

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, pottery, etc. Silica, as sand, is a principal ingredient of glass, one of the most inexpensive of materials with excellent mechanical, optical, thermal, and electrical properties.

Hydrogenated amorphous silicon has shown promise in producing economical cells for converting solar energy into electricity.

Hyperpure silicon can be doped with boron, gallium, phosphorus, or arsenic to produce silicon for use in transistors, solar cells, rectifiers, and other solid-state devices which are used extensively in the electronics and space-age industries.