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     14    

14 Si Silicon

Metalloid, mass: 28.085 u, 3 stable isotopes (28, 29, 30), abundance rank (earth/space): 2/8

Click image to magnify. Ultrapure silicon chunks. Original size in cm: 2 x 2
Piece of silicon Different piece of silicon
The metalloid silicon is a very abundant element. Much of the earth's crust is made out of silicates and silica (SiO2). The latter is the chief ingredient of quartz and sand and is used as raw material for glass since ages. Elemental silicon is an important industrial material, where it is used in huge amounts for semiconductors, computer chips, in electronics, for solar energy and photovoltaics.

Polycrystalline silicon Solar cells
Left: Polycrystalline silicon in solar cells for power generation (photovoltaics).
Right: Monocrystalline silicon in solar cells.

Pure silicon, rough surface Quartz sand
Left: Pure silicon, rough surface, 2 grams, size 2 cm.
Right: Quartz sand, largely SiO2.

Silica gel
Silica gel, amorphous SiO2 with a large, inner surface, is strongly hygroscopic and therefore is used as desiccant. Bead size approx. 2 mm.


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The images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, unless otherwise noted. Attribution by linking (outside of the internet credit with url) to the according element page.



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