What is silicon?

  • (noun): A tetravalent nonmetallic element; next to oxygen it is the most abundant element in the earth's crust; occurs in clay and feldspar and granite and quartz and sand; used as a semiconductor in transistors.
    Synonyms: Si, atomic number 14


Silicon, a tetravalent metalloid, is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon, the nonmetal directly above it in the periodic table, but more reactive than germanium, the metalloid directly below it in the table. Controversy about silicon's character dates to its discovery: silicon was first prepared and characterized in pure form in 1824, and given the name silicium (from Latin: silicis, flints), with an -ium word-ending to suggest a metal, a name which the element retains in several non-English languages. However, its final English name, suggested in 1831, reflects the more physically similar elements carbon and boron.

Read more about Silicon.

Some articles on silicon:

Silicon - Biological Role
... Although silicon is readily available in the form of silicates, very few organisms have a use for it ... phytoliths) are rigid microscopic bodies occurring in the cell some plants, for example rice, need silicon for their growth ... Although silicon was proposed to be an ultra trace nutrient, its exact function in the biology of animals is still under discussion ...
Silicon Tetrabromide
... Silicon tetrabromide is the inorganic compound with the formula SiBr4 ... The general properties of silicon tetrabromide closely resemble those of the more commonly used silicon tetrachloride ...
Silicon Saxony
... Silicon Saxony is a registered industry association of nearly 300 companies in the microelectronics and related sectors in Saxony, Germany, with around 40,000 employees ... With a name chosen referring to Silicon Valley, the area and the union — in many aspects — represent the last meaningful European center of microelectronics ...
Solar Power In China - Third-generation Solar Cells
... ENN Solar Group is the Chinese amorphous silicon thin-film cell maker ... its mass production of the 1.1 × 1.4-metre amorphous silicon thin-film solar panel from its plant in Henan, China, marking a milestone on a journey that began about two years ago ... A triple-junction thin-film silicon cell structure that is claimed to have produced conversion efficiencies of 14.8% is also in development phase at Mitsubishi Electric ...
Liquid HD - Notes
... “Silicon Image intros home tech network”, Communications, Engineering and Design Magazine, 2009-01-12 ... “Silicon Image introduces next-gen home AV wireless networking technology LiquidHD”, cnet, 2009-01-08 ... “Silicon Image unveils LiquidHD”, PC Magazine, 2009-01-08 ...