Robotics

New cell-sized micro robots might make incredible journeys

Researchers have harnessed the latest nanofabrication techniques to create bug-shaped robots that are wirelessly powered, able to walk, able to survive harsh environments and tiny enough to be injected through an ordinary ...

Business

Amazon invests in self-driving car startup Aurora

A self-driving car technology startup founded by former Google, Tesla and Uber executives said Thursday it secured $530 million in new funding that included a "significant" investment from Amazon.

Energy & Green Tech

NREL identifies where new solar technologies can be flexible

Rigid silicon solar panels dominate the utility and residential markets, but opportunity exists for thin-film photovoltaic and emerging technologies notable for being lightweight and flexible, according to scientists at the ...

Energy & Green Tech

Light multiplication for stable improvement of solar cells

Now that solar cells based on silicon technology have nearly reached their efficiency limits, researchers from all over the world are looking for alternative technologies to further improve solar cell efficiency. Physicists ...

Internet

Will EU copyright overhaul 'break' the internet?

EU lawmakers have backed a major overhaul of copyright law that was hailed by some as a much-needed win against Silicon Valley, but its impact on ordinary web-users remains unclear.

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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