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 ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Silicon FinFETs hosting hole spin qubits at temperatures over 4 Kelvin

The idea of creating a spin-based quantum computer using quantum dots was first introduced by Daniel Loss and David Di Vincenzo in 1998. Since then, countless engineers and physicists worldwide have been trying to realize ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Researchers isolate single artificial atoms in silicon

Silicon has proved to be a highly valuable and reliable material for fabricating a variety of technologies, including quantum devices. In recent years, researchers have also been investigating the possible advantages of using ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Silicon nanowire transistors with both learning and memory functions

Neuromorphic computing entails building architectures inspired by elements of the human brain, such as neural organization and synapses. These architectures have proved to be highly promising and advantageous for a number ...

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 ...

Robotics

A bio-inspired flow-sensing cupula for submersible robotics

Nature can be a precious source of inspiration for researchers developing robots and artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Studies in submersible robotics, for instance, have often tried to replicate or incorporate mechanisms ...

Engineering

Nanoscale cryptography method gains robustness from stiction

Most of the cryptographic methods that keep important data secure use complex encryption software, and as a result, consume large amounts of power. As more and more electronic devices are being connected to the internet, ...

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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.

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