Silicon 2 - Silicon - A useful metalloid for society...

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Silicon - A useful metalloid for society Silicon= the chemical element that has the symbol Si and atomic number 14. A tetravalent metalloid , silicon is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon . As the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, silicon occasionally occurs as the pure free element in nature, but is more widely distributed in dusts, planetoids and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide or silicate . On Earth, silicon is the second most abundant element (after oxygen ) in the crust, making up 25.7% of the crust by mass. Silicon has many industrial uses. Elemental silicon is the principal component of most semiconductor devices, most importantly integrated circuits or microchips . Silicon is widely used in semiconductors because it remains a semiconductor at higher temperatures than the semiconductor germanium and because its native oxide is easily grown in a furnace and forms a better semiconductor/dielectric interface than almost all other material combinations. In the form of silica and silicates, silicon forms useful glasses , cements , and ceramics . It is also a component of silicones , a class-name for various synthetic plastic substances made of silicon, oxygen, carbon, germanium, and hydrogen, often confused with silicon itself. Silicon is an essential element in biology, although only tiny traces of it appear to be required by animals. It is much more important to the metabolism of plants, particularly many grasses, and silicic acid (a type of silica) forms the basis of the striking array of protective shells of the microscopic diatoms . Notable characteristics In its elemental crystalline form, silicon has a gray color and a metallic luster which increases with the size of the crystal. It is similar to glass in that it is rather strong, very brittle, and prone to chipping. Even though it is a relatively inert element, silicon still reacts with halogens and dilute alkalis , but most acids (except for a combination of nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid ) do not affect it. Pure silicon has a negative temperature coefficient of resistance , since the number of free charge carriers increases with temperature. The electrical resistance of single crystal silicon significantly changes under the application of mechanical stress due to the piezoresistive effect . [ edit ] Applications
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Silicon is a very useful element that is vital to many human industries. Silicon is used frequently in manufacturing computer chips and related hardware. [ edit ] Silicon and alloys The largest application of pure silicon (metallurgical grade silicon) is in aluminum - silicon alloys, often called "light alloys", to produce cast parts, mainly for automotive industry (this represents about 55% of the world consumption of pure silicon).
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Silicon 2 - Silicon - A useful metalloid for society...

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