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General Knowledge

How is Silicon useful for us?

How is Silicon useful for us?

Silicon is a chemical (non-metallic) element. Its symbol is Si and having an Atomic Number 14. Silicon is not found in its pure form in the nature. Pure Silicon is a hard, dark grey coloured material with a metallic luster. Silicon is also a Semiconductor and hence used in the making of Transistors and Semiconductor components.

Silicon is relatively unreactive and has a high chemical affinity for Oxygen. Jons Jacob Berzelius was first able to prepare and characterize Silicon in its pure form in 1823. Oxides of Silicon form a family of Anions and known as Silicates.

The Earth’s crust has 28% Silicon and China Clay contains 50% Silicon. Silicon is also found in rocks, sand, water, bone etc. Silicon is extracted from a compound called Silicon Dioxide, heating which in an electric furnace to remove Oxygen.

Uses of Silicon and Silicates

Main use of Silicon in its pure form is in making Photocells, Transistors, Silicon Chips having Micro Circuits and other electronic components. Silicates are used in making different kinds of Glasses, Enamels, China Clay etc. Sodium Silicate is used in making Soap and prevention of rotting of wood and eggs and also in dyeing. Sodium Silicate is also used for making Artificial Rubber.

Silicon Carbide (Carborundum) a compound of Silicon and Carbon is used for polishing metals. Silicon is used for making bricks as well.

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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