# What is the Ionic Charge of Silicon (Si)? And Why?

The common Ionic Charges of Silicon (Si) are 4- and 4+.

But the question is how can you find the ionic charge on Silicon (Si)?

Well, silicon is one of the elements that have a variable ionic charge.

The ionic charge of silicon depends on what it is bonded with.

So let’s try to find out the ionic charge of Silicon (Si) using some examples.

If you are a visual learner like me, then here is a short two minute video for you.

## How to find the ionic charge of Silicon (Si)?

As I mentioned earlier, the ionic charge of Silicon (Si) can be found out by looking at what it is bonded with.

So let’s take examples of compounds of Silicon (Si) like SiCl4, SiO2, SiH4, etc.

Example 1: SiCl4
In SiCl4, the Silicon (Si) is bonded to Chlorine (Cl).
You know that the ionic charge of Cl is 1-.
So you can easily say that the ionic charge of Si should be 4+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Silicon in SiCl4 is 4+.

Example 2: SiO2
In SiO2, the Silicon (Si) is bonded to Oxygen (O).
And again, you know that the ionic charge of O is 2-.
So here also you can easily say that the ionic charge of Si should be 4+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Silicon in SiO2 is 4+.

Example 3: SiH4
Similarly in SiH4, the Silicon (Si) is bonded to Hydrogen (H).
And you know that the ionic charge of H is 1+.
So from this, you can easily say that the ionic charge of Si should be 4-, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Silicon in SiH4 is 4-.

In this way, Silicon can have variable charges depending on what it is bonded to.

But as seen from the above examples,
The most common charges of Silicon (Si) are 4- and 4+.

I hope you have understood why silicon has variable ionic charges.

Check out some other related topics for your practice.

Author
##### Jay Rana

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.