Uses of Silicon (Si)

Symbol Si
Atomic Number 14
Atomic Mass 28.0855 g.mol -1
Discovered by Jöns Jacob Berzelius in 1824

Chemical Properties of Silicon

Group 14 Melting point 1414°C, 2577°F, 1687 K
Period 3 Boiling point 3265°C, 5909°F, 3538 K
Block p Density (g cm−3) 2.3296
Atomic number 14 Relative atomic mass 28.085  
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 28Si, 30Si
Electron configuration [Ne]3s3p2 CAS number 7440-21-3
ChemSpider ID 4574465 ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database

What is Silicon?

  • Silicon (Si) is a close relative of carbon (C) in the periodic table.
  • The element could be traced universally in our world but is not found individually in our environment.
  • A silicon Atom comprises 14 electrons

Polymers of Silicon

1. Silanes

Silanes are comprised of homologous series of silicon hydrides, and they are very strong reducing agents. They catch fire very easily and are very reactive when exposed to air. They are not stable in room temperature.

2. Silicides

Silicides have structures that are similar to carbides and borides and therefore, the heats of formation are usually similar to that of carbides and borides of the same elements.

3. Silica

These are also known as silicon dioxide and its major constituents are granite and sandstone.

4. Halides

Silicon carbides and silicon react with stable halogens forming silicon tetrahalides. This silicon tetrahalides readily hydrolyse in water, unlike carbon tetrahalides.

5. Silicate Minerals

About 95% of the earth’s rocks constitute of the silicate minerals. If the mass is taken into consideration, then around 28% is of the earth’s crust consists of silicon.

6. Silicic Acids

Increasing the concentration of water results in the formation of hydrated silica gels. Most of the silica acids exist in aqueous solutions.

Uses of Silicon

  • The element is a major constituent in ceramics and bricks.
  • Being a semiconductor, the element is put into use for making transistors.
  • Silicon is widely used in computer chips and solar cells.
  • It is a vital component of Portland cement.
  • Silicon is used in the production of fire bricks.
  • Several waterproofing systems employ silicones as a component.
  • Silicon is used in much mould release agents and moulding compounds.
  • It is also a component of ferrosilicon – an alloy widely used in the steel industry.

Properties of Silicon

  • Silicon could be found attached to other elements, for instance, oxygen (O).
  • Silicates are the rocks which contain both silicon and oxygen.
  • When decontaminated, it is a greyish crystal that looks metallic.
  • Although it may be glistening like metal, it is not a metal.

Certain Facts About Silicon

  • Silicon was isolated and forced to develop its first crystals in the year 1854.
  • In the periodic table, one can find silicon just underneath carbon in the third row of the periodic table.
  • Silicon’s electrons are arranged in a makeup comparable to carbon.
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