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Germanium

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Germanium
Germanium
General Info
Atomic Symbol Atomic symbol::Ge
Atomic Number Atomic number::32
Atomic Weight Atomic weight::72.64 g/mol
Chemical series Metalloids
Appearance Grayish White
Sample germanium.jpg
Group, Period, Block 14, 4, p
Electron configuration [Ar] 4s2 3d10 4p2
Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 4
Electron shell germanium.png
CAS number CAS number::7440-56-4
Physical properties
Phase solid
Density Density::5.323 g/ml
Melting point Melting point::938.25 °C
Boiling point Boiling point::2833 °C
Isotopes of Germanium
iso NA half-life DT DE (MeV) DP
68Ge syn 270.8 d ε - 68Ga
70Ge 21.23% 70Ge is stable with 38 neutrons.
71Ge syn 11.26 d ε - 71Ga
72Ge 27.66% 72Ge is stable with 40 neutrons.
73Ge 7.73% 73Ge is stable with 41 neutrons.
74Ge 35.94% 74Ge is stable with 42 neutrons.
76Ge 7.44% 1.78x1021 y β-β- - 76Se
All properties are for STP unless otherwise stated.

Germanium was discovered by a German scientist by the name of Clemens Winkler in 1866. It is called Germanium because it was discovered in Germany (German-ium). [1] Germanium is number 32 in the periodic table. It is in group 14 and period 4 of the periodic table. It is also a metalloid, this means it has the properties of both metals and nonmetals. [2] The melting point of Germanium is 937.4°C and the boiling point is 2830.0°C. That is really hot after it has been melted. Its density, when in its natural form, is 5.323g/cm3. [3] This element is a gray-silver color. [4] Germanium comes in two kinds of forms: organogermanium compounds, and inorganic germanium compounds. [5]

Properties

Germanium is number 32 on the periodic table. Its electron configuration is 1s22s22p63s23p64s23d104p2. It has an atomic weight of 72.64 g/mol and is a metalloid. It exists as a solid in nature. Germanium has 32 Protons and 41 Neutrons. It is similar to Silicon both physically and chemically. [6] Germanium is a mineral, and a semiconductor. A semiconductor is a element that attracts electricity but it doesn't conduct it very well. Being a metal, Germanium has a shiny luster to it. [7] Several compounds that can be created using Germanium are GeH4-Germaine, GeCl2-Germanium Dichloride, GeO2-Germanium Dioxide, GeCl4-Germanium Tetrachloride, Ag8GeS6-argyrodite, and GeH3-Germanium Tetrahydride. [8] Germanium is unaffected by water or air, alkalis, and acids, except for nitric acid. [9] Germanium also has a monetary value, one gram of Germanium in 1997 was worth about $3, whereas now one gram of Germanium only costs $1.50. [10]

Occurrences

This is Germanium in its natural state.

Germanium is much harder to obtain than other elements. It is spread out much wider than other elements because the minerals only contract only small amounts of Germanium. [11] Today Germanium is collected from smelting Zinc. It exists as the byproduct of the melting of the Zinc. It can also be taken from burning coal and from recycled metals.[12] However, due to the decreasing cost of Germanium, it is shown that Germanium is becoming more common in the environment, that or an easier way has been found to produce it. Germanium does not come from the United States, it mostly comes from European countries. Germanium compounds can also be found and manufactured. Germanium Oxide is formed by mixing Hydrogen in Water form and pure Germanium. Mixing Germanium Tetrachloride and Hydrogen creates hydrochloric acid. Germanium Oxide mixed with Carbon produces pure Germanium and Carbon Dioxide.[13]

Uses

Germanium has been used as a semiconductor inside transistors and circuits. Germanium is most often doped with Arsenic, Gallium, Indium, Antimony, and Phosphorous when used for the transistors. However, it is not a very good conductor of electricity. [14] The first Germanium transistor was created 1948. However, as time has passed by, Germanium began being replaced with Silicon transistors. [15] In WWII Germanium was used in rectifiers so that they would last longer. Germanium is also mixed with various elements to make compounds for other purposes. For instance, germanium oxide is put into glass and used for infrared machines and other things. Germanium is used in the making of glasses and the glass can also be used for cameras. Germanium single crystal detectors can precisely identify radiation sources, such as for airport security devices. [16] Germanium is often found inside fillings in teeth. [17]

Health

Germanium, depending on the amount taken internally, can help improve a person's metabolism. It also helps to improve the immune system. Germanium does occur naturally in our bodies, however it is found in small amounts. [18] Doctors also use Germanium to help with treating Anemia. Some doctors have used it to try to cure cancer. [19] While Germanium does have some positive effects to a person's health, it also has some negative effects. According to scientists, a certain amount of Germanium each day helps improve the immune system and several other helpful effects to the human body. However Germanium can also be harmful to the human body. When large amounts of gaseous Germanium are inhaled, it is very dangerous to humans. Also, Germanium irritates eyes and skin. and can cause blood cells to lesion. In the environment it is dangerous because it can travel along the ground, and because it is very flammable in its gaseous form.[20]

References