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Silicon is a common element present in stars and is a principal component of meteorites known as aerolites. It is also a component of tektites, a natural glass of uncertain origin, but believed by some to be ejected lunar material from Tycho crater (the current site of Tycho City). Along with germanium, it was a primary component in the production of transistors. (TNG: "Home Soil") Silicon makes up 25.7 percent of the Earth's crust, by mass, and is the second most abundant element, being exceeded only by oxygen.
The Organians watched a planet for ten thousand years, because it contained a silicon-based virus. They used the reactions of species that encountered it to determine the level of intelligence of that species, because carbon-based lifeforms cannot naturally defend against silicon. Among the species which the Organians observed with this silicon virus were Klingons, Cardassians and Humans. (ENT: "Observer Effect")
Silicon-based lifeforms were considered total fantasy by the Federation until the discovery of the Horta on Janus VI on stardate 3196. A silicon-based lifeform cannot survive in a Class M atmosphere for more than brief periods of time. They are also much less susceptible to phaser fire than carbon-based lifeforms; a shot at full power from an adapted type 2 phaser is capable of only mildly damaging one. (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")
- Bioactive silicon
- Disilicon polymer
- Polysilicate verterium
- Silicon-based liquid
- Silicon-based parasite
- Silicon nodule
- Thermal concrete