The element germanium resembles silicon. It is a semiconductor, just like silicon. It is a dark crystalline solid, which can be polished, such that it looks like a mirror. The chemical properties of germanium also resemble those of silicon, it however, is somewhat more reactive. It slowly dissolves in hot concentrated sulphuric and nitric acid, but it does not react with water, nor with dilute acids or alkalies. The elements mainly exists in the +4 oxidation state in its compounds.

Very pure germanium is available for the public at a regular basis on eBay, through elements-collectors items vendors. It is, however, quite expensive and given its chemical properties, it is not the most interesting element.




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