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(pronounced /dʒɚˈmeɪniəm/) is a chemical element with the symbol Ge and
atomic number 32.
- This lustrous, hard,
silver-white metalloid is chemically similar to tin.
forms a large number of organometallic compounds and is an important
semiconductor material used in transistors. It is named after the
country of Germany.
- Pure germanium is
known to spontaneously extrude very long screw dislocations, referred to
as germanium whiskers.
- One of the leading
uses for germanium is as a replacement for silica in the stationary
phase in chromatography.
transistors are still used in some effects pedals by musicians who wish
to reproduce the distinctive tonal character of the "fuzz"-tone from the
early rock and roll era, most notably the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz
- Germanium is useful
for single crystal neutron or synchrotron X-ray monochromator for
beamlines. The reflectivity has advantages over silicon in neutron and
High energy X-ray applications.
- The alloy silicon
germanide (commonly referred to as "silicon-germanium", or SiGe) is
rapidly becoming an important semiconductor material, for use in high
speed integrated circuits
- In 1999, the USGS
estimated U.S. refinery production of germanium from primary and
semirefined materials to be 20,000 kg, nearly 10% less than that of
1998, but still more than twice as much as the production of the early
- The fall in prices
during 1997 was caused by a weakening of demand and an increasing supply
from worldwide national stockpile sales.
- In 1998,
prices increased despite an oversupply that resulted from: (1) slight
decreases in world demand for optical fibers and polyethylene
terephthalate (PET); and (2) an increase in total supply owing to
greater amounts of recycling and continued releases of germanium from
national stockpiles in Russia, Ukraine, and the United
- As early as the
1940s, the ability of germanium metal and germanium-containing glasses
to transmit near-IR radiation was recognized as a critical property for
use in night vision devices of the passive variety—those that use heat
radiated by objects to view the objects.
- Demand for such
devices for military purposes grew steadily and, by the late 1970s, had
displaced electronics as the principal end use for germanium.
germanium grew at a very fast rate in the 1950s; by 1956, U.S. estimated
consumption had risen to 10,000 kilograms (kg), and by 1960 it had
reached its peak at more than 45,000 kg.
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