Energy & Green Tech

For cheaper solar cells, thinner really is better

Costs of solar panels have plummeted over the last several years, leading to rates of solar installations far greater than most analysts had expected. But with most of the potential areas for cost savings already pushed to ...

Energy & Green Tech

Tests measure solar panel performance beyond established standards

Photovoltaics used in solar panels are sensitive to environmental factors and often suffer degradation over time. International Electrotechnical Commission standards for accelerated degradation do not include field tests. ...

Energy & Green Tech

Flexible thinking on silicon solar cells

Crystalline silicon solar panels could be just as effective when incorporated into stretchy wearable electronics or flexible robot skin as they are when used as rigid rooftop panels. KAUST researchers have devised a way to ...

Engineering

Study highlights the potential of nanotube digital electronics

Some experts in the field of electronics engineering have suggested that the use of silicon complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS) will start declining rapidly by the end of 2020. Despite their predictions, a class ...

Engineering

Punching holes in opaque solar cells turns them transparent

Researchers in Korea have found an effective and inexpensive strategy to transform solar cells from opaque to transparent. Existing transparent solar cells tend to have a reddish hue and lower efficiency, but by punching ...

Engineering

World first as artificial neurons developed to cure chronic diseases

Artificial neurons on silicon chips that behave just like the real thing have been invented by scientists—a first-of-its-kind achievement with enormous scope for medical devices to cure chronic diseases, such as heart failure, ...

Hardware

Deep learning compute system is billed as world's fastest

A company called Cerebras offers up some dizzying superlatives that need some time to sift through. The world's biggest chip? And 56x larger than any other chip? At the heart of the fastest AI supercomputer in the world?

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Silicon

Silicon (pronounced /ˈsɪlɨkən/ or /ˈsɪlɨkɒn/, Latin: silicium) is the most common metalloid. It is a chemical element, which has the symbol Si and atomic number 14. The atomic mass is 28.0855. A tetravalent metalloid, silicon is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon. As the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, silicon very rarely occurs as the pure free element in nature, but is more widely distributed in dusts, planetoids and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide (silica) or silicates. On Earth, silicon is the second most abundant element (after oxygen) in the crust, making up 25.7% of the crust by mass.

Silicon has many industrial uses. It is the principal component of most semiconductor devices, most importantly integrated circuits or microchips. Silicon is widely used in semiconductors because it remains a semiconductor at higher temperatures than the semiconductor germanium and because its native oxide is easily grown in a furnace and forms a better semiconductor/dielectric interface than any other material.

In the form of silica and silicates, silicon forms useful glasses, cements, and ceramics. It is also a constituent of silicones, a class-name for various synthetic plastic substances made of silicon, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen, often confused with silicon itself.

Silicon is an essential element in biology, although only tiny traces of it appear to be required by animals. It is much more important to the metabolism of plants, particularly many grasses, and silicic acid (a type of silica) forms the basis of the striking array of protective shells of the microscopic diatoms.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA