My company would like to find freebies made of silicon (Si, the metallic element, e.g. wafers or uncapped chips, something that has no practical purpose other than being shiny and having the company logo engraved on it, but it must be made of silicon), but it's literally impossible due to the fact that, in English, the rubber-like material silicon is written the same way. Plus the fact that there are lots of gadgets/freebies made of this kind of silicon, results in it overwhelming all attempts to find the former.

Is there a way to distinguish between them, so that I can direct my web searches? Wikipedia says that

Sir Humphry Davy proposed the name "silicium"

However this does not seem to be used at all, I only get results for brands, silica gel, or other things. Is there a synonym or an alternative spelling for the Silicon element that could help me?

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    They're not written the same way: the rubbery material is silicone. I agree that it's probably difficult to search for them separately because a lot of people confuse the two, though. – stangdon Feb 13 '17 at 17:47
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    "silicon wafers" seems to return what you need. I can't help you find "freebies" though. – Andrew Feb 13 '17 at 17:53
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    If I may offer some advice, what you're looking for is highly specialized. As a material for making promotional items, crystalline silicon is going to be extremely rare compared to silica, silicone, silicon carbide, or glass— not to mention steel, aluminum, wood, and thousand different plastics. If you're set on swag/giveaways made of crystalline silicon, you might be better off finding a supplier of the material, then finding a jeweler or stonecarver who can etch or carve or ink it however you like, – choster Feb 13 '17 at 19:31
  • Indeed, though wafer and crystalline are useful words to help filter out some stuff. I guess we'll just buy some 7400 chips or something like that, and try to engrave on the epoxy. – anol Feb 13 '17 at 21:28

In English, the rubber-like material silicon is written the same way...

Are you sure about that? My dictionaries say:

silicon (n.) A nonmetallic element occurring extensively in the earth's crust in silica and silicates, having both an amorphous and a crystalline allotrope, and used doped or in combination with other materials in glass, semiconducting devices, concrete, brick, refractories, pottery, and silicones. Atomic number 14; atomic weight 28.086; melting point 1,410°C; boiling point 2,355°C; specific gravity 2.33; valence 4.


silicone (n.) Any of a class of inert, semi-inorganic polymeric compounds (polysiloxanes), that have a wide range of thermal stability and extreme water repellence, used in a very wide range of industrial applications, and in prosthetic replacements for body parts

silicone (n.) any of a large class of siloxanes that are unusually stable over a wide range of temperatures; used in lubricants and adhesives and coatings and synthetic rubber and electrical insulation

I'm no chemist, but looks to me like you're mixing up silicon with silicone.

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  • The problem is that so many people have mixed up silicon and silicone, for so long, that it is probably no longer true to say that there is a disctinction. – Colin Fine Feb 13 '17 at 18:11
  • You're right, I got fooled by typing "silicon badges" in Google and getting lots of Alibaba and similar results. But once I click on the lists, most sellers do actually write it correctly, silicone. – anol Feb 13 '17 at 21:26

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