Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a hard, brittle crystalline solid with a blue-grey metallic luster, and is a tetravalent metalloid and semiconductor. It is a member of group 14 in the periodic table: carbon is above it; and germanium, tin, lead, and flerovium are below it. It is relatively unreactive. Because of its high chemical affinity for oxygen, it was not until 1823 that Jöns Jakob Berzelius was first able to prepare it and characterize it in pure form. Its oxides form a family of anions known as silicates. Its melting and boiling points of 1414 °C and 3265 °C, respectively, are the second highest among all the metalloids and nonmetals, being surpassed only by boron. Silicon is the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, but very rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth's crust. It is widely distributed in space in cosmic dusts, planetoids, and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide or silicates.

Read more in the app

There's a New Quantum Computing Record: Control of a 6-Qubit Processor in Silicon

Exploring Jupiter's moon, Europa, possible with silicon-germanium transistor technology

For the longest time: Quantum computing engineers set new standard in silicon chip performance

Full control of a six-qubit quantum processor in silicon

Silicon nanopillars for quantum communication

Forget Silicon. This Computer Is Made of Fabric

Silicon image sensor that computes

Innovative Technology Offers Big Performance Boost to Perovskite–Silicon Tandem Solar Cells

MIT Discovers Semiconductor That Can Perform Far Better Than Silicon

Alternative to Silicon: Why Perovskites Could Take Solar Cells to New Heights

Researchers find the missing photonic link to enable an all-silicon quantum internet

Topology and machine learning reveal hidden relationship in amorphous silicon

Secret to treating 'Achilles' heel' of alternatives to silicon solar panels revealed

New silicon nanowires can really take the heat

What’s Down the Road for Silicon?

MIT’s Low-Cost Fabrication Method for Thin Mirrors and Silicon Wafers Could Be a Game-Changer

'Hot' spin quantum bits in silicon transistors

Key Elements Achieved for Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computation in Silicon Spin Qubits

Building a Silicon Quantum Computer Chip Atom by Atom

Researchers Set Record by Preserving Quantum States in Silicon Carbide for More Than Five Seconds