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What is silicon made of?
 
Silicon is made from silicon dioxide, or silica - found in nature as quartz, or common beach sand.
 
First, the silica is put into a Silicon Furnace, where a carbon electrical arc reacts at high temperatures to drive the oxygen out of the silica, combining with the carbon to form carbon dioxide and leaving silicon metal.
 
The silicon is powdered, then combined with a copper catalyst and methylene chloride in a Fluidized Bed Reactor, which mixes fluid and solid ingredients at such high velocities that solid particles are completely suspended. The methylated chlorine reacts with the silicon, forming several different silanes - chemicals which have a chain of silicon atoms as a backbone.
 
Silanes can be combined with each other, with a related family of chemicals called siloxanes, and metallic or other additives to make silicons with different properties. When combined with a catalyst, the long-chain silicon molecules cross-link together to make the various forms of silicon we use today.
 
Abundance (by weight) of elements found in earth's crust (Top 5)
Order
Element
Clarke number*
1
Oxygen
49.5
2
Silicon
25.8
3
Aluminum
7.56
4
Iron
4.7
5
Calcium
3.39
 

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