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You wrote, barium anyone?

and they spell it silicon.....just reminding myself....

I don't have much to add about barium. It's a fairly common material in that it's mined and used in some commercial applications. It's not nearly as common or inexpensive as silicon of course, which is more than 1/4th of the earth's crust. I'm not sure how much silicon is actually used by the semiconductor industry at the moment; but I'm sure it's the most heavily used materials, given that it's used in the substrate.

I suppose the use of barium might be plausible. Did your friend say what made it so interesting? A quick Google search doesn't give me many interesting leads ... or perhaps too many to follow them all, depending on what you search for.

- Joel
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