Timeline of silicon

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This is a timeline of silicon, attempting to describe historic events in the scientific development of the chemical element and also its industrial application.

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Time period Development summary
Ancient history The use of silicon in agriculture probably begins in China more than 2000 years ago, with farmers at that time incorporating rice straw along with manure as a fertilizer to enhance plant performance and yield.[1] silicon is familiar to the predynastic Egyptians, who use it for beads and small vases. It is also familiar to the early Chinese, and probably to many others of the ancients.[2]
19th century The element silicon is discovered.
20th century In the early 1900s, silicon is recognized as one of the 15 elements needed for plant life. Research pursuing the role of silicon as a nutrient for different crops begins early in the century.[3][4]
1950s< The great historic leap in the application of silicon occurs in the field of electronics, as silicon becomes the industry’s preferred material in the transistor industry.[5] In the 1980s, a result of research, silicon’s potential to decrease the intensity of many plant diseases is discovered for a large number of plant species.[1]
Present time As of 2009, ferrosilicon accounted for about four-fifths of world silicon production.[6] Silicon has achieved its biggest success as an electronic switch, with more than a million trillion transistors being made each year.[7]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details Country/region
1500 BC Application Egyptians and Phoenicians manufacture glass containing silica.[2] Egypt
1787 Scientific development French chemist Antoine Lavoisier first identifies silicon.[8][9][10][11] France
1811 Scientific development French chemists Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis Jacques Thénard react silicon tetrachloride with potassium metal and produce some very impure form of silicon.[12][8] France
1824 Scientific development Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius discovers silicon by heating chips of potassium in a silica container and then carefully washing away the residual by-products.[13] Sweden
1854 Scientific development French chemist Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville first prepares crystaline silicon, the second allotropic form of the element.[14][15][16][17] France
1857 Scientific development Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville and German chemist Friedrich Wöhler discover silicon nitride.[18][19][20]
1891 – 1893 Application American chemist Edward Goodrich Acheson discovers a method for making an industrial abrasive composed of silicon carbide, which Acheson would patent in 1893 and name it carborundum.[21] United States
1893 Application Silicon carbide (SiC) starts being produced in powder form for use as an abrasive.[22][23] United States
1899 Technology The modern type of furnace used to make silicon, the electric arc furnace, is invented by French inventor Paul Héroult to make steel.[24] France
1901 Scientific development The word "silicone" was first used by English chemist Frederick Kipping.[25][26][27]
1904 Organization Norwegian company Elkem is founded by industrial entrepreneur Sam Eyde. It is one of the world’s leading providers of silicones and silicon solutions. Norway
1907 Scientific development Electroluminescence is first discovered using silicon carbide light emitting diodes (LEDs).[22]
1917 Application (agriculture) The potential of silicon to reduce blast on rice is first reported by a plant chemist. This discovery would trigger a cascade of silicon research in Japan.[1]
1930s Scientific development United States chemical giant DuPont intensively investigates silicon as an alternative to lead-based pigments in white paint.[7] United States
1939 Application (agriculture) The role of silicon in plant growth and potential disease reduction is first noted for dicots.[1]
1940 Application (electronics) American engineer Russell Ohl discovers the p-n junction and photovoltaic effects in silicon that would lead to the development of junction transistors and solar cells.[28][29] United States
1941 Application Techniques for producing high purity germanium and silicon crystals are developed for wartime radar microwave detectors.[28]
1948 – 1952 Application American Carborundum Company applies for several patents on the manufacture and application of silicon nitride.[18]
1954 Application (electronics) American engineer Gordon Kidd Teal develops a working silicon transistor.[30] United States
1954 – 1955 Application (electronics) The first working silicon transistor is developed at Bell Labs by Morris Tanenbaum.[31][5] United States
1955 Application (electronics) American technology company Texas Instruments creates the first commercial, mass-produced silicon transistor.[31] United States
1955 Application (electronics) Photolithography techniques are used to make silicon devices. Jules Andrus and Walter Bond at Bell Labs adapt photoengraving techniques from printing technology to enable precise etching of diffusion "windows" in silicon wafers.[28][32] United States
1955 Application (electronics) Development of Oxide Masking. Carl Frosch and Lincoln Derick at Bell Labs grow a silicon dioxide film on wafers to protect their surface and allow controlled diffusion into the underlying silicon.[28][33] United States
1956 Application (electronics) Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory –a pioneering semiconductor developer founded by American physicist William Shockley, develops Northern California's first prototype silicon devices while training young engineers and scientists for the future Silicon Valley.[28][34] United States
1958 Application (electronics) Silicon transistors replace germanium transistors, which break down at high temperatures.[35]
1958 Application (electronics) American company Fairchild Semiconductor produces double-diffused silicon mesa transistors to meet demanding aerospace applications.[28] United States
1958 Application (electronics) A double-diffused silicon mesa transistor is introduced.[5]
1960 Application (electronics) Silicon transistors appear in the product market.[36]
1961 Application (electronics) American computer architect Seymour Cray funds development of the first silicon device to meet the performance demands of the world's fastest machine.[28][37] United States
1968 Application (electronics) Federico Faggin and Tom Klein improve the reliability, packing density, and speed of MOS integrated circuits with a silicon-gate structure. Faggin designs the first commercial silicon-gate, the Fairchild 3708.[28][38]
1971 Application (electronics) Silicon-gate process technology and design advances integrates computer central processing units (CPU) onto single chips.[28][39]
1974 Application (electronics) The Microma liquid crystal display (LCD) digital watch becomes the first product to integrate a complete electronic system onto a single silicon chip, called System on a chip or SOC.[28][40] United States
1980 – 1995 Consumption The annual growth rate for the period is about 3.5% for silicon demand by the aluminum industry and about 8% by the chemical industry. Demand by the chemical industry (mainly silicones) would be affected by the Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s.[24]
1999 Production World production of silicon in the year stands at around 640,000 metric tons (excluding China), with Brazil, France, Norway and the United States as major producers. This is a continued decline compared to the previous years (653,000 tons in 1998 and 664,000 in 1997). Though data is not available, China is believed to be the largest producer, followed by the United States.[24]
2009 Production Ferrosilicon accounts for about four-fifths of world silicon production in the year.[6] In the same year, solar-grade silicon production of about 88,000 tonnes is reported, with China producing about 20% of the world demand.[41]

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How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

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See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "History of Silicon and Plant Disease". link.springer.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Silicon". britannica.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018. 
  3. Tubana, Brenda S.; Babu, Tapasya; Datnoff, Lawrence E. "A Review of Silicon in Soils and Plants and Its Role in US Agriculture: History and Future Perspectives". doi:10.1097/SS.0000000000000179. 
  4. Tubana, Brenda S; Babu, Tapasya; Datnoff, Lawrence E. "A Review of Silicon in Soils and Plants and Its Role in US Agriculture: History and Future Perspectives". Soil Science. doi:10.1097/SS.0000000000000179. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Who Invented the Transistor?". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2009. U S Geological Survey & Orienteering S. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Material history: Learning from silicon". nature.com. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Chemical Elements. 
  9. Quaguiner, Bernard. The Biogeochemical Cycle of Silicon in the Ocean. 
  10. The Elements. 
  11. Chemical Elements. 
  12. "Silicon". rsc.org. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  13. "The Element Silicon". education.jlab.org. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  14. Haynes, William M. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 93rd Edition. 
  15. Berger, Lev I. Semiconductor Materials. 
  16. Enghag, Per. Encyclopedia of the Elements: Technical Data - History - Processing - Applications. 
  17. Fantasy & Science Fiction, Volume 63, Issues 374-379. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Carter, C. Barry; Norton, M. Grant. Ceramic Materials: Science and Engineering. 
  19. Keen, Robin. The life and works of Friedrich Wöhler (1800-1882). 
  20. Lange, Horst; Wötting, Gerhard; Winter, Gerhard. "Silicon Nitride—From Powder Synthesis to Ceramic Materials". 
  21. Sherwood, Anand. Essentials of Operative Dentistry. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 Miron, Rich. "Silicon Carbide (SiC): History and Applications". digikey.com. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  23. Cardarelli, François. Materials Handbook: A Concise Desktop Reference. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 "Silicon". madehow.com. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  25. "Chemistry and Properties of Silicone Oil Transformer". siliconerecycling.com. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  26. "Silicone-based water repellents". sciencedirect.com. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  27. "Polydimethylsiloxane". acs.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 28.7 28.8 28.9 "The Silicon Engine". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  29. "1940: Discovery of the p-n Junction". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  30. "The First Silicon Transistor". pbs.org. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 Anthony, Sebastian. "The genesis of the transistor, the single greatest discovery in the last 100 years". extremetech.com. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  32. "1955: Photolithography Techniques Are Used to Make Silicon Devices". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  33. "1955: Development of Oxide Masking". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  34. "Silicon Comes to Silicon Valley". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  35. "Evolution of the Transistor". pbs.org. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  36. Okada, Yoshitaka. Competitive-cum-Cooperative Interfirm Relations and Dynamics in the Japanese Semiconductor Industry. 
  37. "Silicon Transistor Exceeds Germanium Speed". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  38. "Silicon Gate Technology Developed for ICs". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  39. "Microprocessor Integrates CPU Function onto a Single Chip". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  40. "Digital Watch is First System-On-Chip Integrated Circuit". computerhistory.org. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  41. Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation: Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Ottmar Edenhofer, Ramón Pichs-Madruga, Youba Sokona, Kristin Seyboth, Susanne Kadner, Timm Zwickel, Patrick Eickemeier, Gerrit Hansen, Steffen Schlömer, Christoph von Stechow, Patrick Matschoss ed.).