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Wikipedia article: Silicon
· Controversy about silicon's character dates to its discovery: silicon was first prepared and characterized in pure form in 1824, and given the name silicium (from Latin: silicis, flints), with an -ium word-ending to suggest a metal.
· It is most widely distributed in dusts, sands, planetoids, and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide (silica) or silicates.
· Over 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the earth's crust (about 28% by mass) after oxygen.
· Most silicon is used commercially without being separated, and indeed often with little processing of compounds from nature.
· Elemental silicon also has a large impact on the modern world economy.
· Although most free silicon is used in the steel refining, aluminum-casting, and fine chemical industries (often to make fumed silica), the relatively small portion of very highly purified silicon that is used in semiconductor electronics (< 10%) is perhaps even more critical.
· Because of wide use of silicon in integrated circuits, the basis of most computers, a great deal of modern technology depends on it.
· Naturally occurring silicon is composed of three stable isotopes, silicon-28, silicon-29, and silicon-30, with silicon-28 being the most abundant (92% natural abundance).
· The most common decay mode of six isotopes with mass numbers lower than the most abundant stable isotope, silicon-28, is β+, primarily forming aluminium isotopes (13 protons) as decay products.
· Silicon is usually found in the form of complex silicate minerals, and less often as silicon dioxide (silica, a major component of common sand).
· The crystals have the empirical formula of silicon dioxide, but do not consist of separate silicon dioxide molecules in the manner of solid carbon dioxide.
· Ferrosilicon, an iron-silicon alloy that contains varying ratios of elemental silicon and iron, accounts for about 80% of the world's production of elemental silicon, with China, the leading supplier of elemental silicon, providing 4.6 million tonnes (or 2/3 of the world output) of silicon, most of which is in the form of ferrosilicon.
· It makes up about 20% of the world total elemental silicon production, with less than 1 to 2% of total elemental silicon (5–10% of metallurgical grade silicon) ever purified to higher grades for use in electronics.
· Silicon dihalides are formed by the high temperature reaction of tetrahalides and silicon; with a structure analogous to a carbene they are reactive compounds.
· Silicon dioxide is a high melting solid with a number of different crystal forms; the most familiar of which is the mineral quartz.
· Pure monocrystalline silicon is used to produce silicon wafers used in the semiconductor industry, in electronics and in some high-cost and high-efficiency photovoltaic applications.
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WikiSummarizer is a Web-based summarization portal that summarizes Wikipedia articles and presents the results as a structured outline, a Visual Summary and a Keyword Cloud.