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Why Is Silicon a Metal?

08. 10, 2020

Silicon itself is not a metal, it is a non-metal. Generally speaking, metallic silicon is a product made by smelting quartz and coke in an electric furnace. The content of silicon is about 98% (in recent years, metal silicon also contains 99.99% of silicon), and other impurities are iron, aluminum, and calcium.

Silicon metal is called metallic silicon because its properties are similar to germanium, lead and tin.

Silicon has an atomic number of 14, an atomic weight of 28.0855, and two forms of silicon crystal and amorphous. Crystalline silicon has a diamond lattice, hard and brittle, with a melting point of 1410°C, a boiling point of 2355°C, a density of 2.32-2.34 g/cm, and a hardness of 7. Amorphous silicon is a gray-black powder, which is actually microcrystalline. The conductivity of crystalline silicon is lower than that of metal, and it increases with temperature. It has obvious semiconductor characteristics.

Silicon is inactive at room temperature and has no obvious effect on air, water and acid; it can react with halogen to form tetrahydrate under heating; at 650℃, silicon begins to completely react with oxygen; silicon can also react with carbon at high temperatures Silicon, nitrogen, sulfur and other non-metallic elements react; silicon can indirectly generate a series of silicon hydrides; silicon can also combine with calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. to form metal silicides.


Ultra-pure single crystal silicon can be used as a semiconductor material. Alloys composed of coarse-crystalline single-crystal silicon and its intermetallic compounds are commonly used to increase the strength of metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and copper.

"Metal silicon"  is a trade name that appeared in the mid-1960s, and its appearance is related to the rise of the semiconductor industry. A common international practice is to divide commercial silicon into metallic silicon and semiconductor silicon. Metal silicon is a product made by smelting quartz and coke in an electric furnace. The silicon content is about 98% (metal silicon also contains 99.99% silicon). Other impurities are iron, aluminum and calcium. Semiconductor silicon is used to manufacture high-purity metal silicon for semiconductor devices.

Metallic silicon slag is the residue left after silicon ore is refined, and the residue also contains a lot of silicon content. In addition, silicon slag has a wide range of uses, and metal silicon slag has different specifications, and of course the uses are also different.

Metal silicon slag is mainly used as a deoxidizer and used to refine industrial silicon from silicon slag. As a deoxidizer, it can reduce costs and increase profits. The silicon slag contained in part of the silicon can also be used to purify industrial silicon.

The above information is provided by silicon metal factory.