The Humble Magic and Uses of Silicon


Silicon is a mineral that’s found in sand, rocks, and clay. It’s also the main component in glass, concrete, and bricks. You might not realize it, but silicon is EVERYWHERE. In fact, it’s the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (after oxygen).

Silicon has many different uses, both in its natural form and as a synthetic compound. For example, it’s used to make computer chips and solar panels. It’s also used as an industrial abrasive and is added to some kinds of food as an anti-caking agent.

Here are just a few of the many uses of silicon.


1. Computer Chips

One of the most common uses for silicon is in the creation of computer chips. In order for a chip to function properly, it must be made from a material that can hold an electrical charge. Silicon dioxide (SiO2), which is derived from pure silicon, is the perfect material for this purpose. In fact, all modern computer chips are made from SiO2.

Computer chips are made by first creating a long strand of pure silicon. This “ingot” is then cut into small wafers, which are polished until they’re smooth. Once the wafers are ready, they’re sent through a machine that adds impurities to the silicon in a process called doping. The impurities enable the silicon to conduct electricity more easily.

From there, electronic circuits are etched onto the surface of the wafer using photolithography—a process that involves using light to transfer patterns onto the surface of a material. Finally, the chips are cut from the wafer and packaged for use in computers and other electronics.

2. Solar Panels

Solar panels are another common use for silicon. Solar panels are designed to absorb sunlight and convert it into electrical energy that can be used to power homes and businesses. Just like computer chips, solar panels are made from silicon dioxide (SiO2).

Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight with their semiconductor material (in this case, SiO2). When light hits the solar panel’s surface, electrons are knocked loose from their atoms. These free-flowing electrons flow through wires on the solar panel to create an electric current. The electric current can then be used to power homes or businesses (or it can be stored in batteries for later use).

Solar panels come in two main types: crystalline silica solar cells and thin-film solar cells. Crystalline silica solar cells are made from single-crystal or multicrystal rods of silicon dioxide; they’re typically used in large-scale commercial solar energy applications. And thin-film solar cells are made by depositing one or more layers of semiconductor material onto a substrate; they’re often used in small-scale applications like powering calculators or watches.

3. Adding Silicon to Food

Remember earlier when we said that silicon is found in sand, rocks, and clay? Well, it’s also found in food!

Plants absorb silicon from the ground and deposit it into their fruits and vegetables which means we eat silicon every time we munch on an apple or carrot! Not only does this mean that humans have been eating silicon since prehistoric times but it also means that we need silicon for good health just like we need vitamins and minerals such as calcium or iron.

Silicon is also necessary for proper bone development; it helps our bodies deposit calcium into our bones so they stay strong throughout our lives. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium together with silicon. Nowadays, however, most people get more than enough silicon from their diet—so there’s no need to take supplements unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from getting enough silicon from food sources alone.

4. Pottery/Ceramics

Most pottery and ceramics are made from a type of clay known as silicate clay, which contains a high percentage of silicon. Silicon is a key ingredient in many types of pottery and ceramics, as it helps to bind the other materials together and gives the finished product a smooth, glazed finish.

Although there are many different ways to make pottery and ceramics, the basic process usually starts with mixing the silicon-rich clay with water to form a soft dough. This dough is then shaped into the desired shape and left to dry. Once dry, the pottery or ceramic is heated in a kiln to extremely high temperatures, which causes the silicon to fuse with the other materials and create a strong, hard surface.

“Pottery and ceramics are created using a variety of materials, but silicon is one of the most important. It’s a key ingredient in many pottery and ceramic glazes, giving them their distinctive shine and helping to prevent them from chipping or cracking. It’s also key to making sure that the colour of the ceramics turns to what you fancy like a white or blue glossy finish. Silicon dioxide, which is found in sand, is combined with other materials to make it strong and resistant to heat. It’s a key ingredient used to make a wide range of pottery and ceramic products.” added ceramics experts from Hamptons Elegance.

5. Abrasive in Polishes and Toothpaste

Silica, or silicon dioxide, is a white or colourless compound found in sand, quartz, and many types of rocks. It’s also the most abundant compound in the earth’s crust. In its natural state, silica is relatively inert and has few uses. However, when it’s combined with other elements, it can be used to create a variety of materials with a wide range of properties.

For example, when combined with oxygen and carbon, silica forms silicon carbide, a material that’s used as an abrasive in polishes and toothpaste. Polishes and toothpaste also often contain silicon dioxide, which is also known as silica. This compound is derived from silicon, and it is used as an abrasive agent.

When silicon dioxide is added to a polish or toothpaste, it gives the product a rough texture. This roughness helps to remove dirt and debris from surfaces. In addition, silicon dioxide helps to polish tooth enamel, making teeth appear brighter.


From the food we eat to the polishes and toothpaste we use to the pottery and ceramics we admire, silicon is a compound that touches many aspects of our lives. This abundance of silicon is due in part to its relatively inert nature, as well as its ability to form strong bonds with other elements. As we continue to explore the world around us, we’ll likely find even more uses for this versatile compound.

Hi, I'm Raj Hirvate and I am a Tech Blogger from India. I like to post about technology and product reviews to the readers of my blog. Apart from blogging i'm a big Anime fan I Love Watching Naruto, One piece and Death Note.

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