The chemical properties of germanium are intermediate between those of silicon and tin; it reacts with the halogens, oxidizes in air at 600°C, and is attacked by concentrated oxidizing acids and by fused alkalis. It forms covalent tetra- and divalent compounds (see below). Its most common isotope is 74Ge (36.54%).
Germanium was predicted by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev and discovered in 1886.
Compounds of germaniumGermanium (IV) oxide (GeO2) is used in high-refractive-index glass. Melting point 1,086°C.
Germanium (IV) chloride (GeCl4) is a colorless liquid intermediate in the extraction of germanium and the preparation of most of its compounds. Melting point -50°C, boiling point 84°C.
The germanes are a series of volatile hydrides resembling the silanes.
Related category INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
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