Uses for Elements in the Carbon Family Some Interesting Facts Members of the Carbon Family • • • • • Carbon Silicon Germanium Tin Lead What do they have in common? SOME FAMILY… • Some are metals, some are nonmetals, and some are metalloids • Lead is poisonous, but carbon is essential to life • The all look really different BUT… • They all have 4 valence electrons. • They react in similar ratios with oxygen and other elements. • They can form up to 4 bonds – more than any other family!! Carbon • Carbon is found in every living creature. • Elemental carbon can be black (graphite), or hard and beautiful (diamonds). • Building block of fossil fuels (gasoline and oil) • Basis of organic chemistry Silicon • Important semiconductor used in computer chips, solar cells, and transistors. • Second most plentiful element in the earth’s crust. • SiO2 is the main ingredient in glass. Germanium • Important for its semiconductor properties. • One of few substances that expand when frozen. • Can be recovered from refining zinc ores or from the gases of coal combustion. Lead • Extensively used in plumbing. • Used to be added to gasoline to prevent engine knocking. • Used to block radiation – very dense metal • Neurotoxin – may have contributed to fall of the Roman empire. Tin • Once used to make disposable cans, now cheaper aluminum cans are coated inside with tin. • Has been known for centuries and used for it’s relative nonreactivity.