Silicon is a chemical element with symbol Si and atomic number 14. A hard and brittle crystalline solid with a blue-gray metallic luster, it is a tetravalent metalloid. It is a member of group 14 in the periodic table, along with carbon above it and germanium, tin, lead, and flerovium below. It is rather unreactive, though less so than germanium, and has great chemical affinity for oxygen; as such, it was first prepared and characterized in pure form only in 1823 by J?ns Jakob Berzelius.

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 most widely distributed in dusts, sands, planetoids, and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide (silica) or silicates. Over 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust (about 28% by mass) after oxygen.

The outer electron orbital of silicon, like that of carbon, has four valence electrons. The 1s, 2s, 2p and 3s subshells are completely filled while the 3p subshell contains two electrons out of a possible six.

Silicon is a semiconductor. It has a negative temperature coefficient of resistance, since the number of free charge carriers increases with temperature. The electrical resistance of single crystal silicon significantly changes under the application of mechanical stress due to the piezoresistive effect.[14] Heavily boron-doped silicon is a type II superconductor with a transition temperature Tc of 0.4 K

Silicon in its more common crystalline form was not prepared until 31 years later, by Deville.[26][27] By electrolyzing a mixture of sodium chloride and aluminium chloride containing approximately 10% silicon, he was able to obtain a slightly impure allotrope of silicon in 1854.[28] Later, more cost-effective methods have been developed to isolate several allotrope forms, the most recent being silicene.

Because silicon is an important element in high-technology semiconductor devices, many places in the world bear its name. For example, Santa Clara Valley in California acquired the nickname Silicon Valley since the element is the base material used in the semiconductor industry located there. Other locations have been nicknamed for similar reasons, including Silicon Forest in Oregon, Silicon Hills in Austin, Texas, Silicon Slopes in Salt Lake City, Utah, Silicon Saxony in Germany, Silicon Valley in India, Silicon Border in Mexicali, Mexico, Silicon Fen in Cambridge, England, Silicon Roundabout in London, Silicon Glen in Scotland, and Silicon Gorge in Bristol, England.

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