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Element Fact
Americium is one of the few radioactive elements that find its use in homes as a smoke detector.

Germanium, Ge

germanium sample

Atomic number: 32
Atomic mass: 72.64(1)
Natural abundance: 1.5 ppm
70Ge (69.924250) - 21.23%
72Ge (71.922076) - 27.66%
73Ge (72.923459) - 7.73%
74Ge (73.921178) - 35.94%
76Ge (75.921403) - 7.44%

History and Production

From Latin Germania, meaning Germany. It was predicted as a missing element by J.A.R. Newlands in 1864 and D.I. Mendeleev predicted the properties of the missing element would have and called it eka-silicon in 1871. It was later discovered by C.A. Winkler in 1886 during the analysis of a new and rare mineral argyrodite, Ag8GeS6 and subsequently named it in honour of his country, Germany. The element is obtained commercially from the flue dusts of smelters processing zinc ores which involves a series of complicated processes. Element of high-purity grade can be obtain by zone-refining which is used in making transistors. In fact, the action of transistor was first discovered from this element. Other main applications are in making infrare-red optical systems such as lenses, prisms ,windows and other infrared instrumentations.

Physical Data

Germanium is a non-toxic gray-white metallloid. The pure metal is a brittle, lustrous crystalline with the diamond structure. The element is widely distributed in trace amounts and its elements are very rare.

Interatomic distance: 245 pm
Melting point: 938.25C
Boiling point: 2833C
Thermal conductivity/Wm-1K-1: 59.9 (27C)
Density/kgm-3: 5323 (20C), 5490 (m.p.)

Standard Thermodynamic Data (atomic gas)

Enthalpy of formation: 372 kJ/mol
Gibbs free energy of formation: 331.2 kJ/mol
Entropy: 167.9 J/mol K
Heat capacity: 30.7 J/mol K

Electronic data

Electronic configuration: [Ar] 3d10 4s2 4p2
Term symbol: 3P0
Electron affinity: 118.9387 kJ/mol   Electronegativity (Pauline): 2.01
Ionization energy (first, second, third): 762.177, 1537.46, 3302.13 kJ/mol

Chemical properties

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