|Discovered by||Germanium was discovered by Clemens Winkler|
What is Germanium?
- Germanium, a chemical element places between silicon and tin in Group 14 of the periodic table.
- A hard, grey-white, lustrous and brittle metalloid acts in properties between metals and nonmetals.
- The element is mostly distributed in nature, but it’s too reactive to occur free.
- Germanium has a diamond-like structure and its properties are very similar to the physical and chemical properties of silicon.
- It is stable in air and water and does not get affected by alkalis and acids except nitric acid.
- There are primary minerals which include germanite, argyrodite, Canfield site, and renierite. Only renierite and germanite have been used as commercial sources for the element.
- Some of the trace quantities of germanium are found in various zinc blended minerals– some in sulfidic ores of arsenic and copper & some coals.
Table of Contents
- Chemical Properties of Germanium
- Isotopes of Germanium
- Production of Germanium
- Uses of Germanium
- Frequently Asked Questions
Chemical Properties of Germanium
|Group||14||Melting point||938.25°C, 1720.85°F, 1211.4 K|
|Period||4||Boiling point||2833°C, 5131°F, 3106 K|
|Block||p||Density (g cm−3)||5.3234|
|Atomic number||32||Relative atomic mass||72.630|
|State at 20°C||Solid||Key isotopes||73Ge, 74Ge|
|Electron configuration||[Ar]3d10 4s2 4p2||CAS number||7440-56-4|
|ChemSpider ID||4885606||ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database|
Isotopes of Germanium
- There are five types of natural isotopes found in Germanium, such as 70Ge, 72Ge , 73Ge, 74Ge, and 76Ge .
- 74Ge is the most common isotope, having a natural abundance of approximately 36%.
- 76Ge is the least common with a natural abundance of approximately 7%.
Production of Germanium
- Germanium found in the Earth’s crust is approximately 1.6 ppm.
- Few minerals like argyrodite, briartit, germanite, renierite and sphalerite contain appreciable amounts of germanium.
- Germanium mostly produced from the ore sphalerite. The ore is converted to the germanium oxides by heating under air in a process known as roasting. The oxide of germanium is reduced by using carbon form germanium.
GeO2 + C → Ge + CO2
Uses of Germanium
- Germanium acts as a semiconductor, commonly doped with arsenic and other elements and used as a transistor in different electronic applications.
- The oxides of Germanium includes a high index of dispersion and refraction which makes it perfect to use in wide-angle camera lenses & objective lenses for microscopes.
- It is also used as an alloying agent in contact with fluorescent lamps and as a catalyst.
- As both the germanium and germanium oxides are transparent to infrared radiation, these are used in infrared spectroscopes.
Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs
1. What is the use of germanium?
The germanium used as a semiconductor, commonly doped with arsenic and other elements. The oxides of Germanium are used in wide-angle camera lenses & objective lenses for microscopes. Germanium has been used as an alternative medicine capable of treating leukemia and lung cancer.
2. What is the electronic configuration of Germanium?
The electronic configuration of Germanium is [Ar] 3d10 4s2 4p2.
3. Is germanium a metal?
Germanium acts as a Metalloid. It properties between metals and nonmetals. it is a lustrous, hard-brittle, grayish-white solid, used as a semiconductor. Germanium has diamond-like structure and its properties are very similar to the physical and chemical properties of silicon.
4. What is the atomic number of germanium?
The atomic number of Germanium is 32.