The state of silicon is solid at 20°C. This arises because silicon has a small energy gap (band gap) between its highest occupied energy levels (the valence band) and the lowest unoccupied ones (the conduction band). [84], Si–C bonds are commonly formed in three ways. 8 (March 2013): 2800–2814. Thus, the vast majority of uses for silicon are as structural compounds, either as the silicate minerals or silica (crude silicon dioxide). Silicon is used to make many alloys such as aluminum-silicon and ferrosilicon known as iron-silicon which is widely used in the steel industry. 14 electrons (white) occupy available electron shells (rings). It has a spinel -type structure in which two silicon atoms each coordinate six nitrogen atoms octahedrally, and one silicon atom coordinates four nitrogen atoms tetrahedrally. [62], Many metal silicides are known, most of which have formulae that cannot be explained through simple appeals to valence: their bonding ranges from metallic to ionic and covalent. In 1941, techniques for producing high-purity germanium and silicon crystals were developed for radar microwave detector crystals during World War II. Silicon carbide is rapidly attacked by chlorine gas, which forms SiCl4 and carbon at 100 °C and SiCl4 and CCl4 at 1000 °C. Large fluxes of groundwater input have an isotopic composition which is distinct from riverine silicon inputs. Areas covered include atomic structure, physical properties, atomic interaction, thermodynamics, identification, atomic size, crystal structure, history, abundances, and nomenclature. The fusion of 28Si with alpha particles by photodisintegration rearrangement in stars is known as the silicon-burning process; it is the last stage of stellar nucleosynthesis before the rapid collapse and violent explosion of the star in question in a type II supernova. Silicon is very reactive at higher temperatures. While catenation in carbon compounds is maximised in the hydrogen compounds rather than the halides, the opposite is true for silicon, so that the halopolysilanes are known up to at least Si14F30, Si6Cl14, and Si4Br10. Instead, most form eutectic mixtures, although the heaviest post-transition metals mercury, thallium, lead, and bismuth are completely immiscible with liquid silicon. [58], Twenty radioisotopes have been characterized, the two stablest being 32Si with a half-life of about 150 years, and 31Si with a half-life of 2.62 hours. [93][94], Most elemental silicon produced remains as a ferrosilicon alloy, and only approximately 20% is refined to metallurgical grade purity (a total of 1.3–1.5 million metric tons/year). It is used in molding compounds. [11], In 1787, Antoine Lavoisier suspected that silica might be an oxide of a fundamental chemical element,[12] but the chemical affinity of silicon for oxygen is high enough that he had no means to reduce the oxide and isolate the element. [64], Usually, silicides are prepared by direct reaction of the elements. Yue, Zhao, Fred Lisdat, Wolfgang J. Parak, Stephen G. Hickey, Liping Tu, Nadeem Sabir, Dirk Dorfs, and Nadja C. Bigall. This is the type of silicon can be used in computers because it is very pure . [116] Since diatoms are one of the main users of these forms of silicon, they contribute greatly to the concentration of silicon throughout the ocean. These chains may then link across each other to form double chains and ribbons, as in the asbestos minerals, involving repeated chains of cyclic tetrahedron rings. An example is kaolinite [Al2(OH)4Si2O5]; in many of these minerals cation and anion replacement is common, so that for example tetrahedral SiIV may be replaced by AlIII, octahedral AlIII by MgII, and OH− by F−. This element is denoted as 'Si'. Silicone is also sometimes used in breast implants, contact lenses, explosives and pyrotechnics. The chemical symbol for Silicon is Si.. Atomic Mass of Silicon. Uskali, T., and Nordfors, D. (2007, 23 May). Free silicon is also used in the steel refining, aluminium-casting, and fine chemical industries (often to make fumed silica). At room temperature, they are unstable. 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