Germanium: Uses And Characteristics With Its Atomic Properties

We elaborate the uses of Germanium and atomic properties with characteristics. Germanium is a grayish-white chemical element with an atomic number 32. Its symbol is Ge and belongs to the group of metalloids and its usual state in nature is solid. Germanium is located at position 32 on the periodic table.

On this page you can discover the chemical properties of germanium and information about germanium and other elements on the periodic table such as silicon, tin, gallium or arsenic. You will also learn what germanium is for and you will know its uses through its properties associated with germanium such as its atomic number or the usual state in which germanium can be found.

You will see qualities of germanium such as its melting and boiling point, its magnetic properties or what its chemical symbol is. In addition, here you will find information about its atomic properties such as the distribution of electrons in germanium atoms and other properties.

For some elements some of this information is unknown. In these cases we show the properties attributed to them.

Properties of germanium

Germanium is part of the elements called metalloids or semi-metals. These types of elements have intermediate properties between metals and nonmetals. As for its electrical conductivity, this type of materials to which germanium belongs, are semiconductors.

The state of germanium in its natural form is solid. Germanium is a greyish-white chemical element and belongs to the group of metalloids. The atomic number of germanium is 32. The chemical symbol for germanium is Ge. The melting point of germanium is 1211.4 degrees Kelvin or 939.25 degrees Celsius or degrees Celsius. The boiling point of germanium is 3093 degrees Kelvin or 2820.85 degrees celsius or degrees centigrade.

Uses of germanium

Germanium is a grayish-white hard substance found with the minerals of zinc , silver , lead, and copper . A German chemist named Clemens Winkler discovered this element in 1886 and named it so in reference to Germany. The main germanium production is as a by-product of obtaining zinc ore and no more than 100 tons are produced per year. It is highly demanded for its important applications. If you’ve ever wondered what germanium is for , here is a list of its possible uses:

  • Germanium is used as a semiconductor material. It is generally used, together with silicon , in high-speed integrated circuits to improve its performance. In some cases, it is considering replacing silicon with germanium to make miniaturized chips.
  • It is also used in fluorescent lamps and some LED diodes.
  • Some guitar pedals contain germanium transistors to produce a distinctive distortion tone.
  • It can be used in solar panels. In fact, Mars rover robots contain germanium in their solar cells.
  • Germanium is combined with oxygen for use in camera lenses and microscopy. It is also used to manufacture the core of fiber optic cables.
  • It is also used in thermal imaging applications for military use and fire fighting.
  • Germanium is used in airport control to detect radiation sources.
  • There are some indications that it may help the immune systems of cancer patients, but this has not yet been proven. Germanium is currently considered a potential health hazard when used as a nutritional supplement.

Atomic properties of germanium

The atomic mass of an element is determined by the total mass of neutrons and protons that can be found in a single atom belonging to this element. As for the position where to find germanium within the periodic table of the elements, germanium is in group 14 and period 4. Germanium has an atomic mass of 72.64 u.

The electronic configuration for germanium is [Ar] 3d10 4s2 4p2. The electronic configuration of the elements, determines the form in which the electrons are structured in the atoms of an element. The average radius of germanium is 125 pm, its atomic radius or Bohr radius is 125 pm, and its covalent radius is 122 pm. Germanium has a total of 32 electrons whose distribution is as follows: In the first layer it has 2 electrons, in the second it has 8 electrons, in its third layer it has 18 electrons and in the fourth one, 4 electrons.

Characteristics of germanium

Below you can see a table showing the main characteristics of germanium.

Chemical symbol Ge
Atomic number 32
Group 14
Period 4
Appearance grayish white
Block p
Density 5323 kg / m3
Atomic mass 72.64 u
Average radius 125 pm
Atomic radio 125
Covalent radius 122 pm
Electronic configuration [Ar] 3d10 4s2 4p2
Electrons per layer 2, 8, 18, 4
Oxidation states 4
Oxide amphoteric
Crystal structure face centered cubic
State solid
Melting point 1211.4 K
Boiling point 3093 K
Heat of fusion 36.94 kJ / mol
Vapor pressure 0.0000746 Pa at 1210 K
Electronegativity 2.01
Specific heat 320 J / (K · kg)
Electric conductivity 1.45 S / m
Thermal conductivity 59.9 W / (Km)


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