What is a silicate tetrahedron?

1 Answer
Dec 20, 2015

A silicate tetrahedron is a fundamental component of most silicates in the Earth's crust.


The silicate ion, #"SiO"_4^(2-)#, has a silicon atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms at the corners.


Depending on the particular silicates, the tetrahedra can be separate or joined in pairs, chains, rings, or three-dimensional frameworks.

(from ammin.geoscienceworld.org)

The basic building block in all the structures is the silicate tetrahedron.