Germanium Chemical Properties (23 Facts You Should Know)


Germanium is a ميتالويد that falls under the carbon family. It shows both metals and non-metals properties. Let us discuss more relevant facts about germanium.

Germanium is a hard, lustrous chemical element that is used as a semiconductor in pure elemental form. It is used in transistors, LEDs and various other electronic devices. It is fused with silicon to form alloys. It forms few oxo complexes due to its reactivity with oxygen and used for inorganic uses.

Germanium oxygen compounds are used in HPLC due to its similarity with silica. Let us study more facts like atomic number, weight, density of germanium.

Germanium symbol

الرمز الذري is the chemical notation of an element using not more than two letters and the first letter is always in capital. Let us check for germanium.

The atomic symbol of germanium is Ge. It is named as germanium in honor of its discover’s native place, Germany and in Latin, called as Germania and takes up the symbol Ge from it. Atomic symbol is also referred as chemical symbol.

Atomic symbol of Germanium with atomic number on the top left side.

Germanium group in periodic table

The horizontal rows arranged in order of similar chemical properties and same outermost configuration is called group of a periodic table. Let us discuss below.

Germanium is a group 14 element of the periodic table. Group 14 means Ge has four valence electrons in its outermost shell similar to C, Si, Sn and Pb of the carbon family.

Germanium period in periodic table

The elements arranged vertically according to the size and electrons in its orbits of one family in a periodic table are called periods. Let us check below.

Germanium is 4th period element of the periodic table. Elements are arranged as per their size, number of electrons in a periodic table. As Ge has more electrons than C and Si, it is placed lower than that.

Germanium block in periodic table

Block of an element depends on which shell the last electron enters. Let us discuss more facts in details.

Germanium belongs to p block of the periodic table. The outermost shells are 4s and 4p but energy wise according to Aufbau principle 4s is lower in energy than 4p so the last electron enters 4p shell and is called a p block element.

Germanium atomic number

Atomic number represents the total number of positive charges present in the nucleus of an atom that equals total negative charges. Let us check below.

يوفر العدد الذري of germanium element is 32. 32 represents the total number of electrons present in all the subshells of Ge. The electrons are filled in the order 2, 8, 18 and 4 in the shells of Ge.

Germanium atomic weight

Atomic weight or mass number is the relative mass of element of all the isotopes present and accounted together. Let us see the atomic weight of Ge.

 The atomic weight of germanium is 72.64 µ. µ is called atomic mass unit. Generally, mass number is equal to sum of the total number of protons and neutrons with little extra number. Down the group, the atomic weight of an element increases due to increase in neutrons and electrons count.

Germanium Electronegativity according to Pauling

Electronegativity is the inherent property of a molecule or atom to attract electron density of nearby group towards itself. Let us check for Ge below.

يوفر كهرسلبية of germanium is 2.01 according to Pauling scale. It has smaller electronegativity than C but greater than Si. This trend is not obvious as it decreases down the period. This happens as Ge innermost d electrons do not shield the outermost valence electrons greatly.

As such, the effective nuclear charge of Ge increases and it pulls the electron density towards itself making it more electronegative than Si which lacks the screening effect.

Germanium atomic density

Atomic density is defined as how many atoms of an element are packed together in a unit volume. Let us check the density of germanium.

The atomic density of germanium is 5.5 g/cm3. Density gives an idea about how tightly the atoms in a crystal lattice are packed together. Since its density is greater enough, it is considered as a heavy metal too. Plus density shows that the electrons in its orbit are packed well.

Germanium melting point

Melting point is the temperature when the atoms in solid state attains sufficient energy to break and enter into liquid phase. Let us see below the melting point of Ge.

The melting point of Ge is 938.2 0C. It requires higher temperature to enter liquid phase as it is heavy metal with many electrons. At melting point, Ge exists in equilibrium between solid state and liquid phase.

Germanium boiling point

Boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which the atoms in liquid state gain sufficient energy to phase transform in to gaseous state. Let us learn more below.

The boiling point of germanium is 28330C. Ge has high boiling point even more than silicon due to the presence of excess unpaired d electrons that shows metallic character. The metallic bonds are stronger than the covalent bonds observed in Si. So, greater amount of heat is needed.

Germanium Van der Waals radius

Van der waals radius is the radius between the centers of the two nuclei joined together by electrostatic forces. Let us learn below.

The Van der Waals radius of germanium is 211 pm between the two centers of Ge atoms. The closest approach that each Ge atom can do to another nearby Ge atom is 211 pm where pm is 10*-12 m.

Germanium ionic/covalent radius

Covalent radius or ionic radius is the distance from the nucleus to the last valence shell electron joined through covalent or ionic bonds. Let us discus in details.

The covalent radius of Ge is 120 pm when it bonds covalently to the nearby atoms. Covalent radius is the atomic radius of an element when it forms covalent bonds. It is greater in magnitude than Si or C due to its extra subshell it possesses.

Germanium electronic shell

Electronic is a representation of the atomic orbitals and its electrons are arranged as per energy order. Let us check more below.

The electronic shell of germanium is {2, 8, 18, 4}. 2 represents the two electrons that enters 1s orbital. 8 represents the eight electrons that enter 2s and 2p orbitals. 18 stands for the 18 electrons that enter 3s, 3p and 3d orbitals and the last 4 electrons enter 4s and 4p shells.

There are no f shells with principal quantum number 3 so the remaining 4 electrons enter new orbit with principal quantum number 4.

Germanium electron configurations

Electronic configuration of an element demonstrates how the electrons are distributed to different atomic orbitals based on الكلب and Aufbau principle. Let us see below.

The electronic configuration of germanium is [Ar]3d104s24p2. Ar belongs to noble gas family with atomic number of 18. The valence shell of Ge is 4s and 4p.

Germanium oxidation states

Oxidation state is the charge taken by an atom when it lose or gain electrons from its orbit to form chemical reactions. Let us see the different oxidation states of Ge.

The oxidation states shown by germanium are +2 and +4. Ge has 4 valence electrons out of which 2 enters 4s and 2 enters 4p shells. So, by losing first two electrons, it acquires +2 oxidation state and completely filled shell configuration. By losing another 2 electrons, it forms inert shells.

Germanium energy of first ionization

First energy of ionization is the energy required to ionize a gaseous element to make it a mono positive ion. Let us check below the energy required for Ge.

The first ionization energy of germanium is 762 kJ/mol. The first electron is removed from the 4p orbital. It requires lesser amount of energy as p shell is less than half filled. So, it has a tendency to acquire either half filled or inert shell configuration by losing electrons.

Germanium energy of second ionization

Second energy of ionization is the amount of energy required to remove another electron from a mono positive gaseous ion. Let us discuss in details.

The second energy of ionization of germanium is 1537 kJ/mol. This energy is higher than first energy of ionization as it requires larger amount of force to remove second electron from 4p shell of a mono positive ion that has a greater pull from the nucleus.

Germanium energy of third ionization

Third energy of ionization is the energy used to remove third electron from a di/bipositive ion. Let us study in details below.

The third energy of ionization of germanium is 3302 kJ/mol. This energy exceeds the first and second energy of ionizations as the third electron has to be removed from a completely filled 4s orbital. The Ge gaseous ion already possesses negative charge cloud due to removal of two electrons.

So, a greater amount of force is required to bring apart another electron from a positive charged domain plus the extra stability due to filled shell.

Germanium CAS number

CAS number is a designated specification of chemicals with unique numbers that makes it easier for database searches. Let us check the CAS number of Ge.

The CAS number of germanium is 7440-56-4. Using only this number on search engine, we can conclude about the element and its many chemical and physical properties.

Germanium isotopes

The many forms of the same element differing only by the presence of neutrons in their nuclei are called isotopes. Let us check in details below for Ge.

The total number of isotopes observed for germanium is 5. They are 68Ge, 70Ge, 71Ge,72Ge, 73Ge, 74Ge and 76الجنرال.

Let us discus the natural abundance and the presence of total number of neutrons in each of the five isotopes of Ge.

Isotopes of GermaniumوفرةNumber of neutrons present
67Genot known, only predicted35
68Geradioactive and synthetic in nature, not generally found 36
70Ge 20.5٪،38
71Geradioactive and synthetic in nature, not generally found39
72Ge 27.5%40
73Ge7.7%41
74Ge 36.5%42
76Ge7.7% 44
Different isotopes predicted for germanium element.

Germanium allotropic forms

Allotropes are the various forms adopted by a chemical element that differ only by their physical properties like diamond and graphite of carbon family. Let us check below.

Germanium has 7 different allotropic forms. The allotropic forms differ in their crystal lattice structure. Few allotropes of Ge are shown below.

  • α-Ge with Diamond type lattice.
  • β-Ge with β-Sn lattice.
  • γ-Ge with ST12 lattice
  • δ–Ge with BC8 lattice.
  • ε-Ge with Clathrate lattice.
  • allo-Ge
  • 4H-Ge

Germanium chemical classification

Chemical classification is a course of executing an element’s chemical properties based on its reactivity. Let us learn more in details below.

Germanium is chemically classified as a hard lustrous metalloid with very low hazardous effect to environment. Certain Ge compounds are used for various biological applications. However, Ge with halogens and hydride are somewhat prone to life.

Germanium state at room temperature

State of a substance is a chemical form of an element adopted by it depending on how the lattice atoms are packed together. Let us study the state of Ge below.

Germanium is a solid at room temperature. It is a metalloid and a heavier element due to its large size, d electrons in its outermost shell and mass number. The atoms of Ge are packed tightly to show the solid nature.

Is germanium paramagnetic?

Paramagnetic is a property shown by moieties than can attract weak external magnetic field without opposing it. Let us see if Ge is paramagnetic or not.

Germanium is not a paramagnetic element. It is found to be a diamagnetic element. Most commonly it is used as a diamagnetic semiconductor. Diamagnetic materials oppose external magnetic field applied to it. All the magnetic dipoles are arranged in a way that they cancel each other leaving with zero magnetism.

في الختام

Germanium is a metalloid with electronegativity higher than Si and is used widely in many inorganic and industrial applications like semiconductors, LEDs etc.

نانديتا بيسواس

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