Germanium (Ge)

Alexavier Santiago

What is Germanium?

Germanium, which is named after the country of Germany, is a brittle, semi-metal element that is a solid at room temperature and consist of 32 protons and 32 electrons and 41 neutrons. With this data we know that the atomic number is 32 and the atomic mass is about 73. It has a silvery white look to it and has a shiny luster. It also has 4 stable isotopes. Germanium has very high melting and even higher boiling points. Its melting point is 938.3 °C and its boiling point is 2820 °C. So on a normal day, germanium is usually seen as a solid.

The Discovery of Germanium


Once Germanium is combined with other materials such as arsenic, gallium, indium, antimony, and phosphorus, germanium is used to create transistors for the use of other electronics, mostly semiconductors. Also, germanium can be used to make alloys and as a phosphor in fluorescent lamps. Not to mention that some compounds that include germanium can kill some types of bacteria and is being further investigated for the use of chemotherapy.

Interesting Facts

Germanium is said to be a rare element and it is only found in certain resources. Germanium can be obtained from argyrodite, which is a sulfide of germanium and silver. It also can be obtained from germanite which contains 8 percent germanium, zinc ores when smelted down, coal, and other minerals.

Germanium and germanium oxide is transparent to infrared radiation and it is sometimes used to make infrared spectroscopes, or wide angled lenses for cameras, and infrared detectors.

As mentioned before, when germanium is combined with other certain elements to form a compound, it can used to kill off certain bacteria in the human body and out. Scientists have gone into further studies but germanium can be useful for chemotherapeutic agents.

In the cite "Royal Society of Chemistry Periodic Table" the text reads "Germanium has no known biological role. The element is non-toxic. Certain germanium compounds have low toxicity in mammals, while being effective against some bacteria. This has led some scientists to study their potential use in pharmaceuticals." This goes along with germanium being used as a chemotherapeutic agent. Since it is known as a bacteria killer and will not only help humans but other species as well.
Germanium - Periodic Table of Videos


Card: Gray, Theodore W. (2008). The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements.
Jefferson Lab Periodic Table:
Royal Society of Chemistry Periodic Table:

Germanium Mass
Germanium Example
Germanium on PT
Dmitri Mendeleyev
Clemens Winkler
Lamp (scroll down)
Camera Lens
Transistor (semi-conductor)