Is Silicon a Metal?


Quick Answer

Silicon is a metalloid. This means it has some qualities of a metal but lacks others. For example, though a lump of silicon has the luster of a metal, it's also brittle. Silicon can also be alloyed with metals like copper and aluminum to make them stronger.

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Full Answer

Silicon is the second most abundant element found on Earth. Only oxygen is more abundant. Silicon is an excellent semiconductor and is used to manufacture everything from glass to computer chips to the components of photovoltaic batteries. Silicon's atomic number is 14. It was discovered by the Swedish scientist Jøns Jacob Berzelius in 1824.

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