Silicon is a naturally occurring chemical element, and silicone is synthetic.
Silicon has properties of both metals and nonmetals and is the
second most abundant element in the Earth's crust, after oxygen. It
is rarely found in nature in its pure form. We usually find silicon
dioxide or silica, better known as quartz, the most common component
As silica, silicon is a key ingredient in bricks, concrete and
glass. As silicate, it is used to make enamels, pottery and
ceramics. It is also used widely in modern electronics, because it
is an ideal semiconductor of electricity. When heated into a molten
state, silicon is formed into semi-conductive wafers, which serve as
the base for integrated circuits. Silicon Valley, California was
named due to the high concentration of computer and electronics
companies in the area producing silicon-based semiconductors and
Silicone is a synthetic polymer made up of silicon, oxygen, and
other elements, typically carbon and hydrogen. Silicone is generally
a liquid or flexible plastic. Its useful properties are low toxicity
and high heat resistance. It also provides good electrical
In the medical field, silicone can be found in implants, catheters,
contact lenses, bandages and more. It is also contained in items,
such as shampoos, shaving cream, non-stick kitchenware, personal and
automotive lubricants, sealants, and sex toys. Silicone is heat
resistant and slippery.
Silicone is also used in electronics to make casings that can shield
sensitive devices from electrical shocks and other hazards.