How Many Electrons Does Silicon Have?

Silicon is a hard and brittle crystalline element. It is used in many different applications including computer chips and solar cells. It has a number of properties such as being a semi-metal and a semiconductor.

It is in Group 14 of the Periodic Table and has four valence electrons which can form covalent bonds with other elements. The ground state of silicon has three occupied orbitals and one unoccupied orbital.


Silicon (Si) is the 14th element in the periodic table. It’s directly below carbon and above germanium, tin, and lead. It’s relatively unreactive compared to other metalloids, but it can be made into a semiconductor by doping it with impurity elements such as boron, gallium, and phosphorous. It creates a thin layer of silicon dioxide (SiO2) on its surface that protects it from oxidation. It’s also known for its MOSFET transistors.

The number of protons in an atom is determined by its atomic number, which is represented by the letter “N”. The number of electrons in the valence shell of an atom determines its chemical properties. There are 23 known isotopes of silicon, of which only three are stable. All of them have 14 protons.


Neutrons are the neutral particles that make up the majority of an atom’s mass. They are located in the center, or nucleus, of the atom. They are not charged, but they have a mass that is much greater than the mass of the electrons.

Neutrons have both point-like particle and wave properties. When they move through a crystal, they cause faint patterns to form, or interfere with each other, in between and on top of rows or sheets of atoms called Bragg planes. This interference, measured by a technique known as pendellosung, gives scientists information about the forces that act on neutrons.

The average silicon atom has fourteen protons and fourteen electrons. This is what makes it a silicon atom. If the number of protons changes from 14, it is no longer a silicon atom and will instead be an isotope such as phosphorus. In this case the neutron number will also change to a different value and will not match up with the atomic number.


As a member of Group 14 in the Periodic Table, silicon (Si) has fourteen electrons. This is because silicon atoms have full outer shells, but they don’t have enough inner shell electrons to fill the two lower shells. So they have to share these four electrons with other atoms around them, creating a chemical bond as shown in the diagram below. This is a key aspect of how semiconductors work, because other elements can be introduced to the crystal as part of the manufacturing process, producing either extra electrons or extra holes (unfilled spots for an electron). When this happens, the material becomes a conductor. Boron, phosphorous, gallium and arsenic are common semiconductor dopants.

Silicon has 23 known isotopes, but the most common is Si-28, which has 14 neutrons. Thus, neutral silicon has 14 electrons per atom.

Atomic Weight

The force that holds electrons in their orbits around protons in the nucleus of an atom is similar to the gravitational pull of planets around the sun. The electrons are attracted to the protons by their opposite charges, just as like-charged atoms repel each other and attract opposite-charged atoms.

The total mass of an atom is called its atomic weight. It is expressed in unified atomic mass units (u) and can be found by adding the number of protons and neutrons together. The atomic weight of an element can vary because there are different isotopes of that element. The standard atomic weight is based on the average of relative isotope abundances from samples collected across the Earth.

The atomic weight of silicon is 14 (see the image above). It’s in group 14 of the periodic table, directly below carbon. This means it shares electrons with carbon (C) atoms, and forms chemical bonds with them. Silicon can also form double bonds with germanium (Ge), tin (Sn) and lead (Pb). This is called semiconductor doping.

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