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It is a member of group 14 in the periodic table, along with carbon above it and germanium, tin, and lead below.It is rather unreactive, though less so than germanium, and has a very large chemical affinity for oxygen; as such, it was first prepared and characterized in pure form only in 1823 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius.In 1811, Gay-Lussac and Thénard are thought to have prepared impure amorphous silicon, through the heating of recently isolated potassium metal with silicon tetrafluoride, but they did not purify and characterize the product, nor identify it as a new element.Silicon was given its present name in 1817 by Scottish chemist Thomas Thomson.
Meanwhile, research on the chemistry of silicon continued; Friedrich Wöhler discovered the first volatile hydrides of silicon, synthesising trichlorosilane in 1857 and silane itself in 1858, but a detailed investigation of the silanes was only carried out in the early 20th century by Alfred Stock, despite early speculation on the matter dating as far back as the beginnings of synthetic organic chemistry in the 1830s.
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After an attempt to isolate silicon in 1808, Sir Humphry Davy proposed the name "silicium" for silicon, from the Latin silex, silicis for flint, and adding the "-ium" ending because he believed it to be a metal.
Most other languages use transliterated forms of Davy's name, sometimes adapted to local phonology (e.g. A few others use instead a calque of the Latin root (e.g.
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