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Topic: Silicon Chemistry  (Read 3194 times)

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Offline conejo5991

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Silicon Chemistry
« on: August 21, 2009, 03:48:15 AM »
I saw on the wikipedia that apparently Silicon, although in the same family as Carbon, couldn't possibly generate the same quantity of possible covalently bonded compounds as are accomplished in Organic Chemistry. However, I was thinking that maybe they are saying this about Earth conditions.
Would it be possible under drastically different conditions, like say much higher temperatures and pressures, or perhaps with different isotopes of Silicon to make arbitrarity unlimited organic-like Silicon-based compounds? I'm kind of inferring a possible evolution (or Creation if you like) of purely Silicon-based life, maybe on a hotter world, like Venus, without saying that I think Venus in particular has such a thing.

Offline renge ishyo

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Re: Silicon Chemistry
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2009, 03:51:00 PM »
As far as I have heard, the general consensus seems to be that silicon is simply too reactive due to the presence of d-orbitals and weaker overlap in Silicon-silicon single bonds to produce the same sort of variety of stable compounds as carbon can. In particular, silicon reacts very readily with oxygen which would make it nearly impossible for silicon based lifeforms to survive in our atmosphere. In fact, a lot of the rock of the continental crust is made out of oxidized silicon for this reason.

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