What makes silanes and silicones distinct is the silicon atom that is abundant in the earth’s crust as sand, also known as quartz. The silicon atom in these materials is typically bonded to a combination of oxygen atoms and a simple organic component primarily derived from methanol. Increasing the silicon-oxygen content makes these materials more “glass-like,” contributing to high thermal stability, durability and a “solid” form.
Whereas increasing the silicon-organic content makes them more “organic-like,” contributing to their unique surface characteristics, water repellency and a “fluid” form. Silicone properties and forms are defined by the balance of these contributions. Attaching more complex organic groups to these basic structures enables “silicone-organic hybrids,” providing an extraordinary range of properties and societal benefits.