Silicon Carbide - SiC

What is Silicon Carbide?

Silicon carbide also commonly known as Carborundum, is a compound of silicon and carbon. Silicon carbide is a semiconductor material as an emerging material for applications in semiconductor devices. Silicon carbide was discovered by Pennsylvanian Edward Acheson in 1891. It is one of the most important industrial ceramic materials. Plays a key role in the industrial revolution and is still widely used as an abrasive and steel additive and structural ceramic.

IUPAC Name – Methanidylidynesilanylium


Silicon Carbide


3.21 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

40.11 g/mol

Melting Point

2,730 °C

Compound Formula


Silicon Carbide Structure – SiC

Silicon Carbide

Bonding in Silicon Carbide – SiC

Silicon carbide crystallizes in a close packed structure covalently bonded to each other. The atoms are arranged so that two primary coordination tetrahedral where four carbon and four silicon atoms are bonded to a central Si and C atoms are formed.These tetrahedra are linked together through their corners and stacked to form polar structures.

The tetrahedral units are linked together through their corners and stacked to form polar structures called Polytypes.

Physical Properties of Silicon Carbide – SiC


No odor


Black gray to green powder, gray solid

Specific Density

3.21 g/cm3


Insoluble in water, alcohol, and acid.

Chemical Properties of Silicon Carbide – SiC

  • It possesses interesting electrical properties due to its semiconductor characteristics the resistance of different compositions varying by as seven orders of magnitude.
  • Resistant to most organic and inorganic acids, alkalis and salts in a variety of concentrations except to hydrofluoric acid and acid fluorides.

Uses of Silicon Carbide – SiC

  • Used in the manufacture of fast, high temperature and high voltage devices.
  • Used in lining work for its uniformity abrasion resistance and dimensional stability.
  • Used in the manufacture of electronic appliances such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) and detectors.

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