Atomic Number: 32 Period Number: 4 Group Number: 14
Germanium & Compounds
A lustrous silver-white metalloid similar to tin or silicon, germanium (Ge) and its compounds were relatively late discoveries in chemistry. It went on to become the sole ingredient of early semi-conductor electronics. Today, germanium and its compounds primary commercial applications lay in optical systems and organometallic chemistry. There is also a rising interest in germanium in the production of nanowires and other nanoscale structures.
Applications of Gemanium and its compounds
Germanium and its compounds are most widely used for their optical and refractive properties, in applications including but not limited to:
- Optical technology. Germania (GeO2) is frequently used for its high refractive index and low dispersion, properties which make it valued in a wide number of optical applications, including photography, microscopy, data storage, and optical fibers production. Since the turn of the millennia, fiber optics have consumed the majority of germanium in America.
- Polymerization. Outside of the US, germanium is a popular polymerization catalyst for the production of PET, due to the unique aesthetic of PET produced in this way.
- Electronics. Several silicon-germanium alloys are rising in popularity as semiconductors in certain specialty applications.
- Solar. Germanium is used as a substrate in solar panel wafers intended for use in space. It’s also used in the manufacture of certain solar cells.
- Radiation scanning. Semiconductor detectors often use germanium for high-precision scanning of radiation sources. This makes it of use in security and safety devices.
Available from AHP Materials
AHP Materials specializes in highest purity elements and compounds. Our standard catalog of germanium and germanium-containing compounds includes:
To find out more about these products, or to inquire about custom orders of materials not listed here, contact AHP Materials today.
Wikipedia - Basics on Germanium
Chemicool - Cool way to learn about Germanium
WebElements - The basic elements of Germanium
Jefferson Lab - Learning about Germanium