# Complete Electron Configuration for Silicon (Si)

Silicon is the 14th element in the periodic table and its symbol is ‘Si’. In this article, I have discussed in detail how to easily write the complete electron configuration of silicon.

## What is the electron configuration of silicon?

The total number of electrons in silicon is fourteen. These electrons are arranged according to specific rules in different orbitals.

The arrangement of electrons in silicon in specific rules in different orbits and orbitals is called the electron configuration of silicon.

The electron configuration of silicon is [Ne] 3s^{2} 3p^{2}, if the electron arrangement is through orbitals. Electron configuration can be done in two ways.

- Electron configuration through orbit (Bohr principle)
- Electron configuration through orbital (Aufbau principle)

Electron configuration through orbitals follows different principles. For example Aufbau principle, Hund’s principle, and Pauli’s exclusion principle.

## Silicon electron configuration through orbit

Scientist Niels Bohr was the first to give an idea of the atom’s orbit. He provided a model of the atom in 1913. The complete idea of the orbit is given there.

The electrons of the atom revolve around the nucleus in a certain circular path. These circular paths are called orbit(shell). These orbits are expressed by n. [n = 1,2,3,4 . . . The serial number of the orbit]

K is the name of the first orbit, L is the second, M is the third, and N is the name of the fourth orbit. The electron holding capacity of each orbit is 2n^{2}.

Shell Number (n) | Shell Name | Electrons Holding Capacity (2n^{2}) |

1 | K | 2 |

2 | L | 8 |

3 | M | 18 |

4 | N | 32 |

For example,

- n = 1 for K orbit.

The maximum electron holding capacity in K orbit is 2n^{2}= 2 × 1^{2}= 2. - For L orbit, n = 2.

The maximum electron holding capacity in L orbit is 2n^{2}= 2 × 2^{2}= 8. - n=3 for M orbit.

The maximum electrons holding capacity in M orbit is 2n^{2}= 2 × 3^{2 }= 18. - n=4 for N orbit.

The maximum electrons holding capacity in N orbit is 2n^{2}= 2 × 4^{2}= 32.

Therefore, the maximum electron holding capacity in the first shell is two, the second shell is eight and the 3rd shell can have a maximum of eighteen electrons. The atomic number is the number of electrons in that element.

Silicon is a semiconductor material. The atomic number of silicon is 14. That is, the number of electrons in silicon is fourteen. Therefore, the silicon atom will have two electrons in the first shell, eight in the 2nd orbit, and four electrons in the 3rd shell.

Therefore, the order of the number of electrons in each shell of a silicon(Si) atom is 2, 8, 4. Electrons can be arranged correctly through orbits from elements 1 to 18.

The electron configuration of an element with an atomic number greater than 18 cannot be properly determined according to the Bohr atomic model. The electron configuration of all the elements can be done through orbital diagrams.

## Electron configuration of silicon through orbital

Atomic energy shells are subdivided into sub-energy levels. These sub-energy levels are also called orbital. The most probable region of electron rotation around the nucleus is called the orbital.

The sub-energy levels depend on the azimuthal quantum number. It is expressed by ‘l’. The value of ‘l’ is from 0 to (n – 1). The sub-energy levels are known as s, p, d, and f.

Orbit Number | Value of ‘l’ | Number of subshells | Number of orbital | Subshell name | Electrons holding capacity | Electron configuration |

1 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 1s | 2 | 1s^{2} |

2 | 0 1 | 2 | 1 3 | 2s 2p | 2 6 | 2s^{2} 2p^{6} |

3 | 0 1 2 | 3 | 1 3 5 | 3s 3p 3d | 2 6 10 | 3s^{2} 3p^{6} 3d^{10} |

4 | 0 1 2 3 | 4 | 1 3 5 7 | 4s 4p 4d 4f | 2 6 10 14 | 4s^{2} 4p^{6} 4d^{10} 4f^{14} |

For example,

- If n = 1,

(n – 1) = (1–1) = 0

Therefore, the value of ‘l’ is 0. So, the sub-energy level is 1s. - If n = 2,

(n – 1) = (2–1) = 1.

Therefore, the value of ‘l’ is 0, 1. So, the sub-energy levels are 2s, and 2p. - If n = 3,

(n – 1) = (3–1) = 2.

Therefore, the value of ‘l’ is 0, 1, 2. So, the sub-energy levels are 3s, 3p, and 3d. - If n = 4,

(n – 1) = (4–1) = 3

Therefore, the value of ‘l’ is 0, 1, 2, 3. So, the sub-energy levels are 4s, 4p, 4d, and 4f. - If n = 5,

(n – 1) = (n – 5) = 4.

Therefore, l = 0,1,2,3,4. The number of sub-shells will be 5 but 4s, 4p, 4d, and 4f in these four subshells it is possible to arrange the electrons of all the elements of the periodic table.

Sub-shell name | Name source | Value of ‘l’ | Value of ‘m’(0 to ± l) | Number of orbital (2l+1) | Electrons holding capacity2(2l+1) |

s | Sharp | 0 | 0 | 1 | 2 |

p | Principal | 1 | −1, 0, +1 | 3 | 6 |

d | Diffuse | 2 | −2, −1, 0, +1, +2 | 5 | 10 |

f | Fundamental | 3 | −3, −2, −1, 0, +1, +2, +3 | 7 | 14 |

The orbital number of the s-subshell is one, three in the p-subshell, five in the d-subshell and seven in the f-subshell. Each orbital can have a maximum of two electrons.

The sub-energy level ‘s’ can hold a maximum of two electrons, ‘p’ can hold a maximum of six electrons, ‘d’ can hold a maximum of ten electrons, and ‘f’ can hold a maximum of fourteen electrons.

Aufbau is a German word, which means building up. The main proponents of this principle are scientists Niels Bohr and Pauli. The Aufbau method is to do electron configuration through the sub-energy level.

The Aufbau principle is that the electrons present in the atom will first complete the lowest energy orbital and then gradually continue to complete the higher energy orbital.

The energy of an orbital is calculated from the value of the principal quantum number ‘n’ and the azimuthal quantum number ‘l’. The orbital for which the value of (n + l) is lower is the low energy orbital and the electron will enter that orbital first.

Orbital | Orbit (n) | Azimuthal quantum number (l) | Orbital energy (n + l) |

3d | 3 | 2 | 5 |

4s | 4 | 0 | 4 |

Here, the energy of 4s orbital is less than that of 3d. So, the electron will enter the 4s orbital first and enter the 3d orbital when the 4s orbital is full.

The method of entering electrons into orbitals through the Aufbau principle is 1s 2s 2p 3s 3p 4s 3d 4p 5s 4d 5p 6s 4f 5d 6p 7s 5f 6d.

The first two electrons of silicon enter the 1s orbital. The s-orbital can have a maximum of two electrons. Therefore, the next two electrons enter the 2s orbital.

The p-orbital can have a maximum of six electrons. So, the next six electrons enter the 2p orbital. The second orbit is now full. So, the remaining electrons will enter the third orbit.

Then two electrons will enter the 3s orbital of the third orbit and the remaining two electrons will be in the 3p orbital. Therefore, the silicon complete electron configuration will be 1s^{2} 2s^{2} 2p^{6} 3s^{2} 3p^{2}.

Note:The unabbreviated electron configuration of silicon is [Ne] 3s^{2}3p^{2}. When writing an electron configuration, you have to write serially.

## Silicon excited state electron configuration

Atoms can jump from one orbital to another in an excited state. This is called quantum jump.

The ground state electron configuration of silicon is 1s^{2} 2s^{2} 2p^{6} 3s^{2} 3p^{2}. We already know that the p-subshell has three orbitals. The orbitals are p_{x}, p_{y}, and p_{z} and each orbital can have a maximum of two electrons.

In the silicon ground-state electron configuration, the two electrons of the 3p orbital are located in the p_{x} and p_{y} orbitals and the spin of the two electrons is the same. Then the correct electron configuration of silicon in the ground state will be 1s^{2} 2s^{2} 2p^{6} 3s^{2} 3p_{x}^{1} 3p_{y}^{1}.

This electron configuration shows that the last shell of the silicon atom has two unpaired electrons. So the valency of silicon is 2. When silicon atoms are excited, silicon atoms absorb energy.

As a result, an electron in the 3s orbital jumps to the 3p_{z} orbital. The second orbit of the silicon atom is filled with electrons. So, the electron of the third orbit jumps and goes to another orbital of the third orbit.

So, the electron configuration of silicon(Si*) in an excited state will be 1s^{2} 2s^{2} 2p^{6} 3s^{1} 3p_{x}^{1} 3p_{y}^{1} 3p_{z}^{1}.

The valency of the element is determined by electron configuration in the excited state. This electron configuration shows that the last shell of the silicon atom has four unpaired electrons. In this case, the valency of silicon is 4.

## FAQs

### How do you write the complete electron configuration for silicon?

The complete electron configuration for silicon is 1s

^{2}2s^{2}2p^{6}3s^{2}3p^{2}.### What is the valence electron configuration for the silicon atom?

The valence electron configuration for the silicon atom is [Ne] 3s

^{2}3p^{2}.### What is the complete ground state electron configuration for the silicon atom?

The complete ground state electron configuration for the silicon atom is 1s

^{2}2s^{2}2p^{6}3s^{2}3p_{x}^{1}3p_{y}^{1}.### How many unpaired electrons are found in the ground state electron configuration of silicon (Si)?

Silicon has 2 unpaired electrons in its ground state electron configuration. The ground state electron configuration of silicon is 1s

^{2}2s^{2}2p^{6}3s^{2}3p_{x}^{1}3p_{y}^{1}, with the outermost shell being the 3rd shell. In this outer shell, there are two unpaired electrons in the 3p subshell, resulting in a total of 2 unpaired electrons in the ground state configuration of silicon.### How many 3p electrons does silicon have?

Two electrons. In the electron configuration of silicon, the 3p subshell contains two electrons.

### How many electrons does silicon have in the 2p orbital?

Six electrons. In the electron configuration of silicon, the 2p orbital is fully filled with six electrons.