What is the electron configuration of silicon?


Quick Answer

Silicon has an electron configuration of 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p2. Using the noble gas notation, the electron configuration of silicon can be denoted by Ne 3s2 3p2.

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Full Answer

In the periodic table of elements, silicon is represented by the chemical symbol Si, atomic number 14 and relative atomic mass of 28.085. It contains 14 protons and 14 electrons, with its most abundant isotope containing 14 neutrons.

The electron configuration of an atom, which is the fundamental unit of an element, illustrates the number of electrons found on each orbital shell and subshell of a neutral atom. The four types of orbitals are labeled s, p, d and f. The subshells that correspond to these orbitals can hold up to two electrons for s subshell, six electrons for p subshell, 10 electrons for d subshell and 14 electrons for f subshell. In assigning electrons to specific orbitals, the electrons must fill the main energy levels first before moving on to the next.

Silicon contains 14 electrons that are distributed among five energy levels. The orbitals 1s, 2s, 2p and 3s are filled first with 2, 2, 6 and 2 electrons, respectively. The remaining two electrons are placed in the 3p orbital. Sometimes, the noble gas notation is used to represent the electron configuration, providing a shortcut method for writing the distribution of electrons in an atom.

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