What Is The Charge Of Silicon When It Forms Ions?

All atoms have a neutral charge until they lose or gain electrons. Similarly, silicon has no charge until it has gained electrons.

Furthermore, silicon is a unique element like carbon. It is the closest analog of carbon. It also has four valence electrons in its outermost shell and cannot easily lose or gain more electrons. This means that its tetravalent nature is enough to make it a stable atom.

However, silicon can gain a charge like carbon and every other element. Also, just like many atoms, the charge varies with the compound it forms.

What then is the charge of silicon?

Properties of silicon

  • Silicon (Si) is a relatively unreactive metalloid in group 14 and period 3
  • It has an atomic number of 14 and a mass number of 28
  • It is a crystalline solid with a bluish-grey luster
  • Silicon makes up 27.7% of the Earth’s crust
  • As a solid, near room temperature, it has a density of 2.3290 g/cm3. When it is a liquid, it has a density of 2.57 g/cm3
  • Furthermore, silicon has an electronic configuration of [Ne] 3S23P2
  • Silicon is a tetravalent element with oxidation states that range from -4 to +4
  • In addition, silicon has a melting point of ​2,577°F (1414°C) and boiling point of 5,909°F ​(3265°C)

What is the charge of silicon when it forms an ion?

Silicon rarely firms ions, but when it does, it has either a -4 or +4 charge. However, the -4 charge is more common.

However, it is tetravalent like carbon. Therefore, silicon would instead participate in electron sharing. Rather than losing or gaining electrons, silicon forms compounds through covalent bonding with nonmetals.

What is the charge of silicon dioxide?

In SiO2, silicon has a +4 charge. The oxidation state of oxygen is -2 and it has a net charge of 0.

Si + 2(-2) = 0

Si – 4 = 0

+4 = Si

What is the charge of silicon in silicon tetrachloride?

The charge of silicon in silicon tetrachloride, SiCl4, is +4.

Chlorine has a -1 oxidation state and the overall charge on the compound is 0.

Si + 4(-1) = 0

Si – 4 = 0

+4 = Si

What is the nuclear charge of silicon?

The nuclear charge of silicon is 14. The nuclear charge of an element is the same as its atomic number.


How many allotopes of silicon are there?

Silicon exists in amorphous and crystalline forms. The crystalline forms could be single-crystalline, multi-crystalline, or polycrystalline silicon.

What is the chemical formula for silicon nitride?

The chemical formula for silicon nitride is Si3N4.

What is the charge of Si and C in SiC?

In silicon carbide, SiC, silicon is the cation and carbon is the anion. Both elements belong to the same group of the periodic table but carbon is more electronegative than silicon.

Both atoms share three electrons in a triple covalent bond which results in the resulting charge distribution.


Because of its tetravalency, silicon can have a +4 or -4 charge, depending on how it reacts. Silicon will form a cation if it loses the four electrons in its outermost shell and an anion if it gains four more electrons.

However, as mentioned earlier, silicon is stable without electron gain or loss. Just like with carbon, it will require a lot of energy to remove the four electrons in its outermost shell, and adding four more electrons will make the atom unstable.

Get the differences between silicon and silicone in this comparison.

Thanks for reading.