Silicon FAQs:

Q: Is silicon a chemical element with symbol Si and atomic number 14?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon used to produce silicon wafers used in the semiconductor industry?

A: Yes, and in electronics, and in some high-cost and high-efficiency photovoltaic applications.

Q: Is silicon commercially prepared by the reaction of high-purity silica with wood?

A: Yes, and charcoal, and coal in an electric arc furnace using carbon electrodes.

Q: Is silicon a semiconductor?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon as structural compounds, either as the silicate minerals or silica?

A: Yes, Silicates are used in making Portland cement which is used in building mortar and modern stucco, but more importantly, combined with silica sand, and gravel , to make the concrete that is the basis of most of the very largest industrial building projects of the modern world.

Q: Is silicon added to molten cast iron as ferrosilicon or silicocalcium alloys to improve performance in casting thin sections and to prevent the formation of cementite where exposed to outside air?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon the single most important additive to aluminium to improve its casting properties?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon expensive to produce?

A: Yes, and is usually justified only in production of integrated circuits, where tiny crystal imperfections can interfere with tiny circuit paths.

Q: Is silicon also a principal component of many meteorites?

A: Yes, and of tektites, a mineral of possibly lunar origin, or which has been subjected to unusual temperatures and pressures, possibly from meteorite strike.

Q: Is silicon rather strong?

A: Yes, and very brittle, and prone to chipping.

Q: Is silicon an important constituent of electrical steel?

A: Yes, and modifying its resistivity and ferromagnetic properties.

Q: Is silicon readily available in the form of silicates?

A: Yes, and very few organisms use it directly.

Q: Was silicon given its present name in 1817 by Scottish chemist Thomas Thomson?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon the fluidized bed reactor manufacturing technology?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon doped with small concentrations of certain other elements?

A: Yes, and which greatly increase its conductivity and adjust its electrical response by controlling the number and charge of activated carriers.

Q: Is silicon a metalloid?

A: Yes, and readily donating or sharing its four outer electrons, and it typically forms four bonds.

Q: Is silicon a component of some superalloys?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon melted and re-solidified?

A: Yes, and the last parts of the mass to solidify contain most of the impurities.

Q: Is silicon important to nail?

A: Yes, and hair, bone and skin health, for example in studies that show that premenopausal women with higher dietary silicon intake have higher bone density, and that silicon supplementation can increase bone volume and density in patients with osteoporosis.

Q: Is silicon needed for synthesis of elastin and collagen?

A: Yes, and of which the aorta contains the greatest quantity in the human body.

Q: Is silicon grossly impure?

A: Yes, and it accounts for 80% of the world's use of free silicon.

Q: Is silicon primarily used by the iron and steel industry with primary use as alloying addition in iron or steel and for de-oxidation of steel in integrated steel plants?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon used industrially without being separated into the element?

A: Yes, and indeed often with comparatively little processing from natural occurrence.

Q: Is silicon a solid at room temperature, with a melting point of 1,414 °C and a boiling point of 3,265 °C?

A: Yes, Like water, it has a greater density in a liquid state than in a solid state and it expands when it freezes, unlike most other substances.

Q: Is silicon either slightly less pure or polycrystalline rather than monocrystalline?

A: Yes, and are produced in comparable quatities as the monocrystalline silicon: 75,000 to 150,000 metric tons per year.

Q: Is silicon relatively inert?

A: Yes, it reacts with halogens and dilute alkalis, but most acids have no effect on it.

Q: Is silicon used commercially without being separated?

A: Yes, and often with little processing of the natural minerals.

Q: Is silicon composed of three stable isotopes?

A: Yes, and 28Si , 29Si , and 30Si , with 28Si being the most abundant.

Q: Is silicon usually found in the form of complex silicate minerals, and less often as silicon dioxide?

A: Yes, Pure silicon crystals are very rarely found in nature, but notable exceptions are crystals as large as to 0.3 mm across found during sampling gasses from Kudriavy volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Q: Is silicon not soluble in water?

A: Yes, and which gives it an advantage over germanium in certain fabrication techniques.

Q: Was silicon expected to remain less than 50,000 tons/yea?

A: Yes, and xpected to remain less than 50,000 tons/year.

Q: Was silicon the first to be dissolved when treated with acid?

A: Yes, and leaving behind a more pure product.

Q: Is silicon an essential element in biology?

A: Yes, although only tiny traces are required by animals.

Q: Is silicon silicon of 95–99% purity?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon the eighth most common element in the universe by mass?

A: Yes, but very rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth's crust.

Q: Is silicon the most common metals in the debris from supernova dust which formed the protoplanetary disk in the formation and evolution of the Solar System?

A: Yes, and they formed many complex silicates which accreted into larger rocky planetesimals that formed the terrestrial planets.

Q: Is silicon currently under consideration for elevation to the status of a "plant beneficial substance by the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials ." Silicon has been shown in university and field studies to improve plant cell wall strength and structural integrity?

A: Yes, and improve drought and frost resistance, decrease lodging potential, and boost the plant's natural pest and disease fighting systems.

Q: Is silicon heated to melt at one end?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon an intrinsic semiconductor, which means that unlike metals, it conducts electron holes and electrons released from atoms by heat?

A: Yes, silicon's electrical conductivity increases with higher temperatures.

Q: Is silicon found in nature?

A: Yes, and also naturally-occurring compounds of silicon and carbon or nitrogen are found in stardust samples or meteorites in presolar grains, but the oxidizing conditions of the inner planets of the solar system make planetary silicon compounds found there mostly silicates and silica.

Q: Is silicon used in the steel refining, aluminium-casting, and fine chemical industries?

A: Yes, Even more visibly, the relatively small portion of very highly purified silicon used in semiconductor electronics is essential to integrated circuits — most computers, cell phones, and modern technology depend on it.

Q: Is silicon the basis of the widely used synthetic polymers called silicones?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon further refined to semiconductor purity?

A: Yes.

Q: Was silicon a nonmetal similar to boron and carbon?

A: Yes.

Q: Is silicon an important element in high-technology semiconductor devices?

A: Yes, and many places in the world bear its name.