Silicon Carbonate – a Crystalline Substance

Silicon Carbonate – a Crystalline Substance

Silicon carbonate is a crystalline substance derived from silica and carbon dioxide under pressure. The substance’s formula is SiCO4. Silicalite is created by compressing it with carbon dioxide at a pressure of 18 Gpa and a temperature of around 740 K (467 °C; 872 °F). This method produces silicon carbonate with carbonate linked to silicon via oxygen in unidentate, bidentate, or bridged positions. However, under these conditions, no stable crystal structure is formed.

The resulting phase is amorphous, but it contains carbon in three-fold and silicon in six-fold coordination. When carbon is decompressed, not all of it is released as carbon dioxide. If such a substance exists, it should be dynamically stable when subjected to atmospheric pressure. It is a crystalline combination of silicon and carbide, and there are approximately 250 different crystalline forms of SiC.

There was also a claim that a silicon carbonate with a cristobalite structure was created, in which both carbon and silicon are surrounded by four oxygen atoms. The substance was created by heating carbon dioxide and silica to 4000 degrees Celsius. This has been challenged, and the claim has been withdrawn.


SiC2O6 is also predicted to be stable between 7.2 and 42 GPa by computation. Carbonate should convert to CO4 tetrahedra above 86 GPa. It has an average density of 3 g/cm3, making it relatively light in weight. It is chemically inert and corrosion-resistant, and it is unaffected by acids, molten salts, or alkalis even when heated to 800°C. SiC is a very tough and durable material.

Because both carbon dioxide and silica are abundant on Earth, silicon carbonate has the potential to be an important mineral in the Earth’s mantle. In addition, a molecular silicon dicarbonate complex has been created. This is made from a stabilised silylone (zeroivalent silicon) which reduces some carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide, but then reacts to form a monomeric silicon dicarbonate.

SiC is also used in bulletproof vests, ceramic plates, thin filament pyrometry, foundry crucibles, and car clutches, in addition to semiconducting applications. In terms of electrical applications, one of its earliest applications was as a lightning arrester in a high-voltage power system, as engineers and scientists recognized that silicon carbide performs well even in the presence of high voltages and high temperatures.