Silicon, the second most abundant element on earth, is an important part of the mineral world. It"s secure tetrahedral configuration renders it extremely versatile and also is offered in various way in our every work lives. Uncovered in whatever from spaceships to synthetic body parts, silicon have the right to be discovered all about us, and also sometimes also in us.

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The name for silicon is taken native the Latin silex which means "flint". The element is second only to oxygen in variety in the earth"s crust and also was uncovered by Berzelius in 1824. The most typical compound that silicon, (SiO_2), is the many abundant betterworld2016.orgical link in the earth"s crust, i beg your pardon we recognize it better as typical beach sand.


Silicon is a crystalline semi-metal or metalloid. One of its develops is shiny, grey and really brittle (it will certainly shatter once struck with a hammer). It is a team 14 facet in the exact same periodic group as carbon, but betterworld2016.orgically behaves patent from all of its team counterparts. Silicon share the bonding versatility of carbon, through its 4 valence electrons, but is otherwise a relatively inert element. However, under one-of-a-kind conditions, silicon it is in made to it is in a good deal an ext reactive. Silicon exhibits metalloid properties, is may be to expand its valence shell, and also is able to be transformed right into a semiconductor; separating it native its periodic team members.

Table 1: nature of Silicon symbol Si
Atomic Number 14
Group 14 (Carbon Family)
Electron Configuration 3s23p2
Atomic Weight 28.0855 g
Density 2.57 g/mL
Melting Point 1414oC
Boiling Point 3265oC
Oxidation States 4, 3, 2, 1, -1, -2, -3, -4
Electronegativity 1.90
Stable Isotopes 28Si 29Si 30Si

Where Silicon is Found

27.6% of the Earth"s late is consisted of of silicon. Although it is therefore abundant, it is no usually found in its pure state, yet rather its dioxide and hydrates. (SiO_2) is silicon"s just stable oxide, and also is discovered in plenty of crystalline varieties. The purest kind being quartz, but also as jasper and also opal. Silicon can likewise be found in feldspar, micas, olivines, pyroxenes and also even in water (Figure 1). In an additional allotropic type silicon is a brown amorphous powder most familiar in "dirty" coast sand. The crystalline form of silicon is the foundation of the semiconductor age.

api/deki/files/1033/Silica.png?revision=1" />Figure 2: The net charge of silica is minus 4

Silica, i.e. Silicon dioxide, bring away on this molecule form, instead of carbon dioxide"s characteristics shape, due to the fact that silicon"s 3p orbitals do it more energetically favorable to develop four single bonds v each oxygen fairly than do two dual bonds v each oxygen atom. This leads to silicates linking together in -Si-O-Si-O- networks dubbed silicates. The empirical form of silica is SiO2 because, v respect to the net median of the silicate, every silicon atom has two oxygen atoms.

api/deki/files/1036/tetrahedral.png?revision=1" />Figure 4: The core of a neosilicate

Neosilicates consist of the external fringes of a group of minerals well-known as olivines.


In sorosilicates two silicate tetrahedrals sign up with together by share an oxygen atom at among their corners. The core framework of a sorosilicate is a pair of silica tetrahedra. (see figure 5)

Figure 5: The main point of a sorosilicate

The mineral thortveitie is an instance of a sorosilicate complex.


In cyclosilicates 3 or more silica tetrahedrals share two corners of one oxygen atom. The core framework of a cyclosilicate is a closeup of the door ring that silica tetrahedra. (see figure 6)

api/deki/files/1021/chain_1.png?revision=1&size=bestfit&width=518&height=200" />Figure 7: The core of a single chain inosilicate

The mineral group pyroxenes are examples of solitary chain inosilicates.


Figure 8: The main point of a double chain inosilicate

The mineral amphibole is an example of a twin chain inosilicate.


Phyllosilicates room silica complexes where each tetradedral shares three corners and creates a sheet of silicon and oxygen. (see figure 9) The core facility of a phyllosilicate is an boundless sheet of connected silica tetrahedrals.



Silanes room silicon-hydrogen compounds. Carbon-hydrogen compounds form the backbone that the living civilization with seemingly limitless chains of hydrocarbons. V the same valence configuration, and also thus the exact same betterworld2016.orgical versatility, silicon could conceivably play a role of comparable organic importance. Yet silicon does no play an integral function in ours day to day biology. One primary reasons underlies this.

Like hydrocarbons, silanes progressively thrive in dimension as extr silicon atoms space added. But there is a an extremely quick finish to this trend. The biggest silane has actually a preferably of six silicon atoms. (see number 11)

Figure 12: The organosilane, dichlorodimethylsilane

Silanes have a variety of industrial and also medical uses. Amongst other things, silanes are used as water repellents and sealants.


Silicones space a synthetic silicon compound, they are not uncovered in nature. When specific silanes room made to undergo a certain reaction, they room turned right into silicone, a very special silicon complex. Silicone is a polymer and is prized for its versatility, temperature durability, low volatility, general betterworld2016.orgical resistance and thermal stability. Silicone has actually a distinct betterworld2016.orgical structure, however it shares part core structural facets with both silicates and silanes. (See number 13)



Semiconductors are distinctive materials that have neither the electric conductivity that a conductor nor of an insulator. Semiconductors lie somewhere in between these two classes giving them a very useful property. Semiconductors are able come manipulate electric current. Lock are offered to rectify, amplify, and switch electrical signals and also are thus integral components of modern day electronics.

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Semiconductors can be made out of a range of materials, however the majority of semiconductors are made out of silicon. However semiconductors are not made the end of silicates, or silanes, or silicones, they are made out pure silicon, that is basically pure silicon crystal. Favor carbon, silicon can make a diamond favor crystal. This framework is dubbed a silicon lattice. (see figure 15) Silicon is perfect because that making this lattice structure due to the fact that its 4 valence electrons enable it as well perfectly bond to 4 of the silicon neighbors.