Anders Sandberg (
14 Apr 1999 14:14:33 +0200

"Ross A. Finlayson" <> writes:

> I'm not sure about silicon structures and their varieties in
> relation to carbon diamondoids and graphites. There is used silicon
> for a variety of computer chips, so it can be seen to have certain
> desirable structural qualities.

This is a non-sequitor; the reason silicon is used is because it is a semiconductor, not because it has any structural properties.

> There can be a diamond form of silicon like carbon, presumably with
> similar physical properties.

Silicon forms crystals that are not of diamond hardness. However, silicates can be useful. Quartz is fairly hard (still below diamond, though) and there is a high temperature form called cristobailite which does have a diamond structure with SiO4 tetrahedra taking the place of the carbon atoms (not sure about its hardness, it looks a bit too spacious to stand high pressures).

Still, if I wanted to build a really cool house I would likely go for aluminum oxide with impurities - a house built from corundum, ruby and emerald.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y