Germanium Facts

Discovered in 1866 by C.A. Winkler in Freiberg, Germany, it occurs in sulphides, particularly zinc ores and is obtained from certain flue dusts. It has a structure similar to that of diamond.

Germanium is a metalloid having some non-metallic characteristics. In its ultrapure form germanium is silvery white and very brittle.

It is oxidized by heating in air and combines with chlorine on heating. It is unaffected by acids except HNO3 and alkalis.

Until its electrical properties had been identified it had very little use. It is used in semiconductors, alloys and special glasses for infrared devices.

Atomic no.
Relative Atomic Mass
Melting Point
Boiling Point
Electrical Resistivity
Young's Modulus
Heat Capacity
Thermal Conductivity
5323 kgm-3
1 nΩm
103 Gpa
23.2 J/K/mol
1.8 ppm
59.9 W/m/K 

The Germanium coming out of Russia and the CIS has mainly been in the form of GeO2, a white, free flowing powder, and scrap of optical equipment as well as ex-stockpiled prime Germanium bar.

Ukrainian material is usually in the form of trapezoid bars and Russian origin material is generally loaf-shaped in cross-section with a ridge along the back of the bar.

The metal is used as optical surfaces for telescopes and for doping silicon chips and GeO2 is used in some catalysts for the oil industry. We can accept:- Polycrystalline Uniform Trapezoid bars and Monocrystal metal scrap in various forms. Please advise form, weight per form, typical purity and packing. If material is Polycrystal full length bars, please ensure careful packing to avoid breakages.

See our article: Germanium's applications in infrared detectors and optical fibre

© 2021 Lipmann Walton & Co. Ltd

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