Sinonimi: Si | atomic number 14
A tetravalent nonmetallic element; next to oxygen it is the most abundant element in the earth's crust; occurs in clay, feldspar, granite, quartz and sand; used as a semiconductor in transistors; SYN. Si, atomic number 14.
A semiconductor used in many devices, especially microchips. Silicon, with atomic number 14 and atomic weight 28, is the second most common element in nature. Compare silicone.
Brittle, nonmetallic element, symbol Si, atomic number 14, atomic weight 28.086. It is the second-most abundant element (after oxygen) in the Earth’s crust and occurs in amorphous and crystalline forms. In nature it is found only in combination with other elements, chiefly with oxygen in silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2) and the silicates. These form the mineral quartz, which makes up most sands, gravels, and beaches.
Pottery glazes and glassmaking are based on the use of silica sands and date from prehistory. Today the crystalline form of silicon is used as a deoxidizing and hardening agent in steel, and has become the basis of the electronics industry because of its semiconductor properties, being used to make “silicon chips” for microprocessors.
The element was isolated by Swedish chemist Jöns Berzelius in 1823, having been named in 1817 by Scottish chemist Thomas Thomson by analogy with boron and carbon because of its chemical resemblance to these elements.