Meta opens first physical store

Facebook parent Meta has opened its first physical store—in Burlingame, California—to showcase its hardware products like virtual and augmented reality goggles and glasses.

Energy & Green Tech

Improving the efficiency of tandem solar cells

EPFL scientists in Neuchâtel have developed a tandem solar cell that can deliver a certified efficiency of 29.2%. This achievement was made possible by combining a perovskite solar cell with a textured silicon solar cell.

Electronics & Semiconductors

Fabricating qubits using advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes

Quantum computers are promising computing machines that perform computations leveraging the collective properties of quantum physics states. These computers could help to tackle many computational problems that are currently ...


World's first LED lights developed from rice husks

Milling rice to separate the grain from the husks produces about 100 million tons of rice husk waste globally each year. Scientists searching for a scalable method to fabricate quantum dots have developed a way to recycle ...

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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