Periodic Table of the Elements: Silicon

Name: Silicon
Symbol: Si
Atomic Number: 14
Atomic Mass: 28.086
Atomic Volume: 12.04 cc/mol
Discovered By: First isolated by Berzelius in 1824
Discovery Date: 1824
Origin of Name: Silicon - (Latin) silex, silicis (flint)
Toxicity: Not toxic. Finely dispersed dust produces pulmonary fibrosis. Silicon compounds do not have common features of physiological action, and their characteristics cannot be given in a general form. SiO 2 produces silicosis - "dust disease".
Summary: Silicon is not found free in Nature, but mainly as the dioxide, SiO 2 , also called silica. Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust (25.7% by weight), surpassed only by oxygen. Silica is the main component of sand. Crystalline silica is quartz. Amorphous silica, often with added ingredients, is glass. Silicon is a poor conductor of electricity, but when doped with small amounts of other elements, its conductivity increases several orders of magnitude to a level between insulators and conductors. Doped silicon is called a semiconductor. Silicon is the basis of the semiconductor industry.

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© Copyright 1998 David August