Silicon Material: Semiconductors Essay

1519 words - 6 pages

Abstract Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust. When it was first discovered there weren't a lot of uses for silicon because people weren't aware of its properties or had the knowledge of what it was capable of doing. The abundance and pioneering of silicon materials has lead to several findings and. making it possible to build tiny electronic devices such as pocket calculators and very small television sets, devices that has ultimately has changed this world we live in.Introduction One of the most abundant elements in this world is silicon (Si). Silicon is number 14 on the periodic tale, and is a semi-metal that has some properties of metals and non-metals. Its abundance makes is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust, comprising around 28% of it. Silicon is not found in its elemental form but occurs mainly as oxides and silicates. It is always combined with other elements, especially with oxygen (the most abundant element on earth at 46%). Silicon dioxide forms when a silicon surface oxidizes to form silicon dioxide. Silicon is an abundant element most commonly found in quartz sand, or silicon dioxide. In other instances carbon added to silicon results in a superior product called Silicon carnonate. In contrast to carbon, silicon-silicon bonds are uncommon. Natural silicon-carbon bonds are extremely rare but they can be created synthetically. Body Silicon was discovered in 1823 by a wonderful man named Jons Berzelius. When silicon was discovered not a lot of people knew of what Silicon was capable of doing let alone had any use for the material. One of the unique properties that Silicon has is that there is no other element in the world that has the ability to function, look or feel like Silicon. The bonds between silicon and carbon are much stronger than the bonds between silicon and other additives. The result is a material that is outstanding for high temperature, high voltage and high frequency applications. Stronger bonds accounts for the high melting point of silicon with another material, compared to the melting point of about 125 degrees for silicon alone.In the mid-20th century scientists found ways to make pure chemical crystals of germanium and silicon. Advanced silicon processing eventually made silicon the semiconductor material of choice over germanium due to its abundance and durability. These crystals have very valuable qualities because the crystals could conduct electricity, making it possible to build tiny electronic devices. In other instances silicon became a material often used for making solid-state devices. Pure silicon is not a good conductor because it has hardly any free electrons at ordinary temperatures, but it can be given extra free electrons by adding to it small amounts of phosphorus. Silicon treated this way is called a negative type, or n-type, semiconductor. By arranging various types of negative and positive type semiconductors, devices such as resistors, capacitors,...

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