One of the most useful, functional, and valuable elements in the world, silicon is high in demand – now more than ever. Wondering what are the many uses of silicon?
Here they are:
Silicon is converted into silica which is a dioxide. The resulting compound, silica, more commonly known as sand, is used to make concrete and sand, both of which are key inputs for construction.
Glassware & Ceramics Industry
Silicon-based compounds are used to manufacture glass, ceramics, and adsorbents. Normally, silicon is combined with carbon to make Silicon Oxycarbide that gives glassware and ceramics strength and durability.
If you ever witness a tree trunk covered in a white coat of paint, you can be confident that the tree will not wither for decades. The white coat is a potassium silicate-based product that strengthens trees’ cell walls and offers resistance against tree diseases.
Soap & Poultry Industry
Silicon is converted into sodium silicate that has several uses. Most frequent uses include the manufacturing of soap and preserving eggs.
Silicon is used to produce photovoltaic cells that are the primary components in solar panels generating electricity. As the world moves towards renewable solar energy, silicon’s adoption has increased, making silicon an essential element fueling future technologies.
Silicon’s claim to fame is because of its extensive usage as a raw material for semiconductor chips. Silicon is the primary building component of wet benches that are used for wet cleaning and etching in semiconductor processing or the manufacturing of high-tech products.
Is Silicon Facing a Shortage?
From auto to consumer electronics, a number of industries have lately halted production due to the semiconductor chip shortage. Hence, there is a high chance that you may have come across news that foreshadows a silicon shortage.
Does this mean there is a shortage of silicon in the world? Not really! Silicon is a finite resource, much like crude oil. Therefore, it is available immensely in the form of natural stores on beaches and riverbeds. The exponential growth in demand for silicon has aroused legitimate concerns about its possible shortage. However, despite a shortage of silicon chips and silicon metal because of supply chain issues, silicon itself isn’t facing a shortage. Of course, while silicon is not running out, it may become a worryingly finite resource if we do not use it sustainably.
From computers and smartphones to satellites and spaceships, silicon is used in a variety of ways and industries owing to its inert nature, stability, functionality, and performance. And one thing’s for certain: silicon will continue to propel us towards a promising future provided we use it sustainably. Want to learn more about silicon, wet benches, and semiconductors? Get in touch with us at Wafer Process Systems (WPS)!