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Three photos are shown. The first shows a scientific lab full of equipment in which two people in protective suits are working. The second image shows a man holding a round, reflective disc held inside of a protective, clear container. The third image shows a round disc covered in metallic chips which is behind a protective covering.
Figure 18.1 Purity is extremely important when preparing silicon wafers. Technicians in a cleanroom prepare silicon without impurities (left). The CEO of VLSI Research, Don Hutcheson, shows off a pure silicon wafer (center). A silicon wafer covered in Pentium chips is an enlarged version of the silicon wafers found in many electronics used today (right). (credit middle: modification of work by “Intel Free Press”/Flickr; credit right: modification of work by Naotake Murayama)

The development of the periodic table in the mid-1800s came from observations that there was a periodic relationship between the properties of the elements. Chemists, who have an understanding of the variations of these properties, have been able to use this knowledge to solve a wide variety of technical challenges. For example, silicon and other semiconductors form the backbone of modern electronics because of our ability to fine-tune the electrical properties of these materials. This chapter explores important properties of representative metals, metalloids, and nonmetals in the periodic table.

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