Applications of Silicon
Silicon is one of man's most useful elements. In the form of sand and clay it is used to make concrete and brick; it is a useful refractory material for high-temperature work, and in the form of silicates it is used in making enamels, pottery, etc. Silica, as sand, is a principal ingredient of glass, one of the most inexpensive of materials with excellent mechanical, optical, thermal and electrical properties. Hyperpure silicon can be doped with boron, gallium, phosphorus, or arsenic to produce silicon for use in transistors, solar cells, rectifiers, and other solid-state devices, which are used extensively in the electronics and space-age industries. Though silicon was originally discovered in 1810 and thought to be a compound silicon was discovered as an element in 1823 by Jons Berzelius. In 1824 Berzelius prepared amorphous silicon by the same general method and purified the product by removing the fluosilicates by repeated washings. Deville in 1854 first prepared crystalline silicon, the second allotropic form of the element. Davy in1800 thought silica to be a compound and not an element; later in 1811, Gay Lussac and Thenard probably prepared impure amorphous silicon by heating potassium with silicon tetrafluoride. Silicon is a metalloid at room temperature with an atomic number of 14, 14 electrons, 14 neutrons, and an average atomic mass of 28.0855. In its pure form,silicon melts at 2,570 degrees, and boils at 4,271 degrees Fahrenheit. This element belongs to the metalloid family, the 14th family on the periodic table of elements. This element is a solid metalloid at room temperature and turns to liquid at 2,570 degrees. Silicon is prepared as a brown amorphous powder or as gray-black crystals. Crystalline silicon has a metallic luster and grayish color. It is hard, non-magnetic, and most acids do not effect it, but it does dissolve in hydrofluoric acid, forming the gas, silicon tetrafluoride, SiF 4. At ordinary temperatures...
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