Does Silicon Conduct Electricity? 11 Facts You Should Know

Silicon is the closest element to the carbon in the table of the periodic with atomic number 14.  Let us elaborate in this article the electrical conductivity of silicon.

The silicon can conduct electricity. When the temperature is increasing at that time the electrical conductivity for this semiconductor gets better. This is because of the unmatched characteristics of the semiconductor.

On the other hand the metals decrease their electrical conductivity property due to increasing the temperature. Let us talk further in this section how silicon conducts electricity.

Is silicone a conductor or insulator?

Silicon is a very general stuff with stable design, which is use as a raw ingredient of semiconductors devices. Let us talk about electricity conduction in silicon.

Silicon is not a conductor nor an insulator it is a semiconductor. Silicon is a metal which can conduct electricity similarly it can also show its behavior just like an insulator only by changing its characteristics.

Silicon is used for coating various electrical elements such as keyboards, keypads, copier rollers, computers, home entertainment stuffs, telephones and also uses in solar cells and generation of fire bricks.

How does silicon conducts electricity?

Conductor is a matter by which charge can flow from one area to another area in one or more than one direction. Let us discuss on how the silicon conducts electricity.

Silicon can conducts the electricity with the help of free electrons’ movement. Silicon is an n-type semiconductor, a little range of n type impurities is sufficient to generate free electrons. These free electrons are responsible for flows the current from one space to another through silicon.

To make a good conductor of electricity silicon is doped by n type impurities.

Why is silicon a poor conductor of electricity?

The conductivity property for silicon is increased when impurities are added in it. Let us discuss the reason behind the poor conductivity of silicon.

Silicon became a poor conductor of electricity because impurities are not present in it. Pure silicon is not good conductor of electricity at all. The pure silicon could not conduct electricity, because outer electrons make covalent bonds just like diamond structure.

Materials which are not good in conducts electricity is term as insulator. Silicon as a insulator uses as, to reduce junction capacities, lower power consumption and resulting in higher speed.

Is silicone a semiconductor?

In normal room temperature the state of the silicon is solid.  Let us have a look on whether silicon has semiconductor properties or not.

Raw silicon is a perfect example of a semiconductor. Silicon consider as a semiconductor because, the electrical conductivity property for the semiconductor is lies between an insulator and a pure conductor. Thermal conductivity of the natural silicon is about 2.3 W/cm – k.

Image – Silicon;
Image Credit – Wikipedia

Silicon is a very usual ingredient which is used as a raw ingredient of semiconductor just because of its well conditioned design. Rectification of silicon depletes a large number of potency.

Why silicone is a semiconductor?

Silicon is neither non metal nor metal it is a metalloid. Let us talk why silicon term as a semiconductor.

Silicon consider as a semiconductor because, 14 electrons are carried by the atom of the silicon element around the nucleus. Among these 14 electrons four are valence electrons. The atoms of the best semiconductor contain four electrons in the external shell.

Each of the atoms of the silicon shares the valence electrons with four surrounding atoms. When this is made into a single crystal the atoms of silicon put on in a very methodical way.

Structure and bonding of silicon

Silicon is the second most common mineral in the crust of the earth. Let us discuss the type of structure and bonding that silicon possesses.

  • Structure of silicon – The structure of the silicon is diamond crystal cubic formation with a lattice range of 0.543 nanometer.
  • Bonding of silicon – Every atom of the silicon is covalently bonded with four atoms of the oxygen, and every atom of the oxygen is covalently bonded with two silicon atoms.

Does silicon conduct electricity when solid?

Silicon is a weakly diamagnetic ingredient. Let us illustrate the electric conductivity of silicon in solid state.

When silicon stays at solid state electricity can be conducted by it, under some particular conditions. The conductivity of silicon is get heighten when temperature is increase in it.

Properties of silicon in solid state

  • In solid state the density of the silicon is 2.32 gram per cubic centimeter.
  • Silicon is a brittle, hard crystalline solid with a grey – blue metallic luster.
  • Thermal conductivity of the silicon is 149 W/m – k.
  • Silicon is very reactive when it reaches at higher temperature.

At room temperature silicon consider as a  relatively inactive stuff.

Does silicon dioxide conduct electricity?

Silicon dioxide is an example of insulator. Let us illustrate the electrical conductivity of the silicon dioxide.

Silicon dioxide is an element which is not able to conduct electricity. The reason behind the electricity conductivity in a body is ions or electrons, but in the silicon dioxide ions and electrons both are absent thus electricity cannot pass by it.

Silicon oxide’s another term is silica. Silica oxide is a natural stuff mixture which is made with two most abundant ingredient of crust of the earth, such as silicon and oxygen.

Why is silica a good insulator than conductor?

Silica contains 46.89 percentages of silicon and 53.33 percentages of oxygen. Let us talk which property of silica helps to consider as a good insulator than conductor.

Silica is a good insulator rather than good conductor because, silicon atoms are completely bonded with nearest four atoms for this reason any electrons are not left to produce conductivity of electricity.

In various field silica is widely used such as, anti foaming agent, anti caking agent, dough modifier, control viscosity and many more.

Why silicon is bad conductor of heat?

Silicon is the eighth most abundant stuff in the universe by weight. Let us discuss the heat conductivity of weak silicon in detail.

Silicon consider as a bad conductor of heat because the thermal conductivity for this semiconductor is low, which means that silicon disposal heat at a low motion compared to other stuffs.

The low thermal conductivity also can be defined as, high thermal resistance.

Frequent Asked Question

What are the properties of insulator?

An electrical insulator could not flow the current freely. Let us derive the properties of the insulator.

  • Di electric strength is too much strong.
  • Strength of the mechanical is high.
  • Any type of shape in the devices can be form with the help of insulator.
  • Characteristics getting not changes due to temperature changes.
  • Large resistance and specific resistance can be containing by it.
  • Water proof.
  • Thrust proof.

In the insulator the valence electrons are tightly stayed with each other.

What are the properties of conductor?

Metals are good examples of conductor. Let us elaborate the properties of the conductor.

  • Tensile strength is high.
  • Highly resistance to corrosion by fluids.
  • Thermal resistance is low.
  • Thermal conductivity is high.
  • Easy to joining.
  • Not react with climate.
  • With temperature changes the properties of the conductor not changes.


In conclusion, it can be stated that silicon can conducts electricity when impurities in it. Silicon is most used elements to the mankind. Most is used to make alloys together with aluminium silicon and ferrous silicon.

Indrani Banerjee

Hi..I am Indrani Banerjee. I completed my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. I am an enthusiastic person and I am a person who is positive about every aspect of life. I like to read Books and listen to music. Let's connect through LinkedIn-

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