# Talk:Germanium

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Article changed over to new Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements format by maveric149. Elementbox converted 13:28, 1 July 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 17:38, 14 June 2005).

### Information Sources

Some of the text in this entry was rewritten from Los Alamos National Laboratory - Germanium. Additional text was taken directly from USGS Germanium Statistics and Information, from the Elements database 20001107 (via dict.org), Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (via dict.org) and WordNet (r) 1.7 (via dict.org). Data for the table was obtained from the sources listed on the main page and Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements but was reformatted and converted into SI units.

### Talk

From the Applications section: "While germanium has been claimed as an attractive nutritional supply, " Perhaps supply should be replaced with supplement. 

Actually, this entire statement is a fallacy. One of the greatest misconceptions in the alternative health/medical community is regarding the alleged dangers of germanium ingestion. Anyone conducting thorough research regarding organic germanium (online would be sufficient) will soon discover several truths:

1. The only viable form of germanium for ingestion is organic Germanium-132, otherwise known as Germanium Sesquioxide, and is found naturally in ginseng, aloe, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms. 2. Other forms of germanium are indeed toxic and should not be consumed, but Germanium-132 (a naturally occurring mineral) should not be confused with elemental germanium (Ge). 3. The purported ill health effects and deaths occurred because certain unscrupulous manufacturers imported a cheap grade of so-called organic germanium from Asia that had been "cut" with other types of germanium (either by accident due to ignorance or design due to greed) to increase profit. 4. The only "germanium" dietary supplements that are safe for human consumption are those from U.S. manufacturers and are clearly labeled Germanium-132 "certified organic" and clearly describe a point of origin. 5. The FDA intervened in the previous case involving death and its custom agents have continued to restrict the importation of germanium into the country even while some of their own chemists have pointed out the error of incorrectly misidentified Germanium-132 as being similar or "the same thing" as other types of germanium. However, the two are completely different substances! 6. The vast majority of references to the "dangers of germanium" in scientific literature all, to this day, cite a study of years ago wherein the researcher mistakenly lumped organic Ge-132 along with all forms of germanium, including the non-organic or toxic variety. 7. Even though this prominent researcher later redacted his findings, the disparity continues to be erroneously replicated to this day out of ignorance. 8. A host of clinical studies have demonstrated the reduction of cancerous tumors in animals ingesting organic Germanium-132, and not one single death has ever been attributed to the consumption of this type.

Do not be confused. Truly organic Germanium-132 (safe for human consumption even in large amounts) is NOT the same thing as elemental Germanium (GE).

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## Electrical conductivity units are incorrect

Instead of Ohm it should be Ohm-m or Ohm-cm or somesuch. (209.239.242.30) (ancient comment, done) Femto 11:42, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The Ohm-m is the SI derived unit for resistivity. Conductivity is the reciprocal of resistivity, but the Siemens unit (S) is defined as the reciprocal of Ohm. Therefore the SI derived unit for (electrical) conductivity is the siemens per metre (S·m-1).Laburke (talk) 22:47, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

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## Germanium in very small trace amounts may cure cancer

Germanium has shown no less than 'miraculous' results in fighting cancer. In Japan, germanium has been used to help treat cancer for the past 30 years. Yet it has only been recently that the exact mechanism by which it works to tackle cancer has been uncovered.

Researchers found that germanium reduces the spread of cancer by slowing down the process that causes cancer cells to multiply. At the same time, the researchers observed that germanium didn't interfere with normal, healthy cells, which were left alone to grow and carry out their functions as nature intended (Chun Hua Yen 2000, 36(4):263-266).

Two years ago, a case study confounded many scientists and other members of the medical profession. It involved a patient suffering from a very rare and highly malignant form of lung cancer, called spindle cell carcinoma. Even with radical surgery, combined with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, only a small percentage of patients with this condition live more than a couple of years.

This particular patient had shown no initial response to any of the conventional treatments, and decided to take germanium supplements as a last resort instead. Doctors were astounded to find that even after four years, X-rays showed that the patient was completely free of cancer and that the disease didn't return (Chest 2000, 117(2):591-593).

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## Semiconductor related properties not listed

Germanium has been suggested to be used as a semiconductor here, but there are little or no properties relevent to semiconductors listed in the tables at the side (or in the document). I think it would be a good idea to make properties such as mobility, band gap, etc. part of the general template for semiconductor materials on wikipedia.

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## Ge-76 now listed as unstable

Ge-76 can decay via double beta decay.

"Standard" double beta decay with emission of two neutrinos has been reported by the Heidelberg-Moscow experiment (see http://www.mpi-hd.mpg.de/non_acc/ but beware - horrible homepage). Journal reference: Eur.Phys.J.A12:147-154,2001 but also available as eprint, e.g. http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0103062 . The half-life is very long, though, about 1.55 \pm 0.2 \times 10^{25} years.

Mentioning that Ge-76 is currently the isotope in focus in the search neutrinoless double beta decay might be a good idea - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrinoless_double_beta_decay

I am new to Wikipedia and did not dare to just change the page. Sorry... 80.145.0.52 00:33, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

The 10^25 half-life seems to be refering to the not-clearly-observed neutrinoless double beta decay, and should be considered only as a lower limit. The ordinary double beta decay half life is listed (if I understand it correctly) as 1.78 x 10^21 years here: http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-ex/0309016. From looking at a graph, the decay energy looks to be about 0.7 Mev, but I'm leaving that blank in the table since I can't find it written out anywhere.

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## Germanium whiskers

Article should mention "germanium whiskers" (screw dislocations) that grow in germanium, and that these are the primary cause of failure in electronics containing pure germanium. linas 03:33, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

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## Nutrient?

Germanium is listed as an essential nutrient and dietary mineral, but there are no biological roles listed in this article. Is it biologically significant? Either way, those two articles should be updated (even if just to remove the "dubious" tag). -- Beland 04:09, 24 June 2007 (UTC) I changed these lists to allign them with modern biochemistry. There is no demonstrated biological role for Ge.--Smokefoot 12:56, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Forrest H. Nielsen. "Ultratrace elements in nutrition: Current knowledge and speculation". The Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine What is RSS? 11 (2-3): 251 – 274. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-670X(1998)11:2/3<251::AID-JTRA15>3.0.CO;2-Q. Text " The Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine" ignored (help) states: Germanium is another element added to the list of ultratrace elements since 1984.--Stone 08:19, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
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## Not to be confused with geranium

It seems many people misspell one as the other, so why not put "not to be confused with geranium" at the top of the article? NeonMerlin 19:55, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Because it's a pretty obvious mistake to realise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kurtle (talkcontribs) 00:09, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
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## Cost

The cost of germanium over the years is given, but with no explaination why costs fell and then rose again. From the article I'd guess its decreasing abundance is the reason and the need for a greater percentage to be recycled but this is not explicitely stated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.11.251.229 (talk) 12:41, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

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## Value

This looks like a graphable section. Can somebody graph it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Naidevinci (talkcontribs) 00:33, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I suppose I'll throw the numbers into Excel and make a little chart. No guarantees that the section will stay there, but we might as well make it look nice. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 23:54, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
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## de.wiki

somebody that can translate well German should take a look at the article on German wiki and add some stuff from there. Nergaal (talk) 23:31, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Also, check the reference 8 entitled "Germanium: From Its Discovery to SiGe Devices" for further details about history. Nergaal (talk) 00:40, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

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## Ocean and biosphere

The fate of the germanium in the ocean would be a good addition to the article.--Stone (talk) 08:16, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

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## Things which should go

• The nuclear batteries of Bruce Perreault should not be in the article.This a patent with no further references except the http://www.nuenergy.org/ hompage of the inventor!
• The fact that GeO2 is replacement for SiO2 for chromatography, which I can find not even a web reference on.

doi:10.1021/ac071056f right, but only one publication, with no comercial application.

• The (2-Carboxyethylgermanium)sesquioxide or better Ge132, which is a dubious HIV and cancer cure should be in the applications section and out of the chemistry section. We have to expand this on the danger that the NPOV germanium eaters will come vandalizing this page or we should get rid of the substance.
• The statement that germanium is the purest element was true some time ago I think: 1 in 1010 means 99.99999999 or 8N grade germanium while you can buy 12N silicon meaning 99.999999999999 or 1 in 1014 purety.

Anybody a good suggestion?--Stone (talk) 12:27, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

About the purity: do you think you coult find a ref? #2 is still worth mentioning, expecially with a goot ref. Nergaal (talk) 13:30, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Difficult, to find a ref saying germanium was the purest but now its silicon. I will try! #2 We have to take into account that the germanium food supplement story was an asian thing beginning in the 1970s, but there a lot of people used the stuff. Some people marketed it as miracle drug against HIV and cancer. The discovery which began was the claims that ginseng and other medical plants contain germanium in high dosages were wrong. A japanese chemist invented Ge132. The Ge132 was marketed and used and due to the low toxicity of germanium nothing happened for a long time. Than a scientist published results that 50 - 300 gramms of germanium in 6 to 36 months could lead to renal dysfunction and death. (two deaths ). The studies are under attack because the bad inorganic germanium is resposible for this problems (impureties in the supplement due to synthesis problems or criminal intent), the good organic Ge132 is less toxic and even gramm quantities are no problem is story of the Ge132 activists. They say that the pharma industry banns germanium, because they fear for their money. So this is a good story to get something similar controverse to depleted uranium and water fluoridation.--Stone (talk) 16:23, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
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## todo

Should we mention that the Cadillac DeVille uses a raytheon night vision system with germaniu ir optics? (GERMANIUM, Robert D. Brown, Jr. ,U.S. Geological Survey 2000) --Stone (talk) 21:44, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

• so what is the article missing besides c/e-ing and in some places references? Nergaal (talk) 06:50, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I think its good and we should go for GA!--Stone (talk) 08:52, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
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## GA Review

Outer space, elements, I'm still stalking. Comments to follow jimfbleak (talk) 10:17, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

• Lead No mention of the history, surprising in view of the periodic table link
• History Two queries on paragraph 1. The Periodic Law of the Chemical Elements - was this the title, if so, is it possible to reference the publication?
• I can see why you've bolded ekasilicon, but I'm not sure if a predicted element with properties X and Y is the same as an actual element with similar, but not identical, properties X1 and Y1. (This is a pure nitpick you are free to ignore)
Ekasilicon I believe is a valid alternative name even today. Basically back then they did not understand the periodic table but ever since they did, IUPAC switched to stuff like ununseptium instead of eka-astatine. Nergaal (talk) 00:52, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
• mineral had been found that was known as - perhaps better was named as or became known as?
• Winkler could proof ?
• It was only during World War II, in 1941, that it began to supplant vacuum tubes in electronic devices. - how did it supplant tubes, needs clarifying
• higher purity samples - not sure that samples is the right word.
• 146 tons - links to a disambiguation page, also, since rest of article is in metric, need to give a conversion as well as the imperial.
• Characteristics - Opening skips along a bit for a layman, what about Germanium is a brittle, silvery-white, semi-metallic element under normal conditions.[18] This form, α-germanium, has...
• crystalline germanium for semiconductors that have - either crystals of or that has
• depending on what they end up touching - perhaps depending on what they eventually touch?

I'll read the rest later jimfbleak (talk) 12:28, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

sneak preview, please look at para 2 of Chemistry, also explain ppm, sort out unit in line 1 of production and none are mined because of its in Natural abundance jimfbleak (talk) 12:40, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Awesome feedback. I will work on these issues tonight, Nergaal (talk) 14:33, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
• Chemistry Germanium compounds form on fusion with alkaline carbonates and sulfur salts known as thiogermanates.- doesn't make sense
• If excess of a mineral acid be added - I recognise a subjunctive, not sure all readers will
• Nucleophilic Addition With Organogermanium (caption) - Too Many Capitals
• were reported as the less hazardous liquid substitute - why reported here?
• carbene pendants - what does pendant mean here?
• Natural abundance 1.6 ppm. - expand or link ppm
• none are mined because of its germanium content. - none is?
• 1600t
• and even in some of the most distant stars - why even? does distance make it less likely?
• 100 t
• Mining A source for germanium is also the fly ash - also?
• Fiber optics Most notable characteristics of Infrared optics is
• Infrared optics Due to the fact that germanium is transparent in the infrared made it - doesn't quite make sense
• References inconsistent with regard to surnames or first names/initials coming first

Only a second read and ref/image check, and the pain will soon go away. jimfbleak (talk) 14:53, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Please have a read through the refs, a number have obvious issues. jimfbleak (talk) 15:05, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I'll take a look tomorrow and try to make the author formatting as consistent as possible. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 04:01, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Done. Note that Masanori Kaji should be left as it is, since I assume Masanori is the surname, as in Chinese. --Cryptic C62 · Talk 05:22, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Tried to get some of the points, but now its late and I have to sleep, but I know there are others doing a great job.--Stone (talk) 20:34, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I believe I've solved all the issues that Stone did not check. How is it now? Nergaal (talk) 01:42, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

### Review

GA review (see here for criteria)
1. It is reasonably well written.
a (prose): b (MoS):
2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
3. It is broad in its coverage.
a (major aspects): b (focused):
4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
Fair representation without bias:
5. It is stable.
No edit wars etc.:
6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
7. Overall:
Pass/Fail:

### To do before FAC

• Lead – still no mention of the history
• Inconsistencies in capitalising refs, eg (ref 52) Performance of Light-Weight, Battery-Operated, High Purity Germanium Detectors for Field Use versus (ref 58) american cancer society, and in between, (ref 36) Astronomy: Elements of surprise
• PDF or pdf?
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## Chemistry accuracy

Looking at the chemistry section its a bit flaky IMO. Should I edit it? - I dont want to step on any ones toes. (Problems I see are for example GeO (BTW I'd call this germanous oxide not germanious oxide) is made pure from GeO2 + metal, the reduction with Mg method I'm sure works, but probably gets some magnesium germanide mixed in. Ge2O3-- I can find no references to this compound except as a mention in a book about etchants saying it occurs as a surface oxide on Ge metal after sputtering - however there is an organometallic compound popularly called germanium sesquioxide, which is hyped by some for its medicinal properties. While I wait a response I shall see about ading this compound.--Axiosaurus (talk) 17:17, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Your are welcome to contribute and add to the article. As long as you do not remove present information but add to what is there already nobody will mind at all. And even if you do want to change what is in the article already, as long as you bring references it is 100% ok to do it (in this case though, it is probably better to leave the previous information as hidden text rather that just delete it, so future editors can check it). And for this article in particular, if you think something is wrong, bring it to the talkpage or even put it in the article and main contributors will decide on it. Nergaal (talk) 17:49, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
• Everest, David A.; Terrey, Henry (1950). "Germanous oxide and sulphide". J. Chem. Soc.: 2282–2285. doi:10.1039/JR9500002282.
• Sládková, J. (1968). "Thin oxide films on germanium". Zeitschrift Czechoslovak Journal of Physics 18 (6): 801–806. doi:10.1007/BF01696142.
• Bernstein, Richard B.; Cubicciotti, Daniel (1951). "The Kinetics of the Reaction of Germanium and Oxygen". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 73 (9): 4112–4114. doi:10.1021/ja01153a018.
• Jolly, William L.; Latimer, Wendell M. (1952). "The Solubility of Hydrous Germanous Oxide and the Potential of the Germanous Oxide--Germanic Oxide Couple". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 74 (22): 5751–5752. doi:10.1021/ja01142a053.
• Dennis,, L. M.; Tressler, Katharina M.; Hance, F. E. (1923). "GERMANIUM.1 VI. METALLIC GERMANIUM. REDUCTION OF GERMANIUM DIOXIDE. PREPARATION OF FUSED GERMANIUM. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 45 (9): 2033–2047. doi:10.1021/ja01662a004.
Might help.--Stone (talk) 09:26, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
thanks - particularly like the W.L.Jolly ( of text book fame) reference as it was from his thesis and may even be his first publication. I will use these refs to strengthen some of the Ge compound articles as well--Axiosaurus (talk) 12:01, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I am good in digging for references, so I do it! Thanks for your contributions to the Germanium articles .--Stone (talk) 12:41, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I have tidied up the first part of the Ge chemistry section - however before I do any more I would like an opinion on the level of information regarding thiogermanates, sulfides which to my mind seem to be inappropriately detailed for a review. BTW we haven't got many chemical articles on the germanates, hydroxides, thiogermanates or chalcogenides and that is where the the detail should be found. I shall make adding these my next task along with some more on Ge halides.--Axiosaurus (talk) 10:59, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I have now tidied up the oxide and chalcogenide paras adding more on which chalco. compounds exist, hopefully this will meet with approval- I have also added more on hydrides and a short para on cluster anions.
a chemical trend para would be nice- highlighting increased the stabilty of GeII over SiII and Ge's ability to catenate related to bond strength etc.

--Axiosaurus (talk) 13:52, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for all the c/e help and for spotting all those problems. I transformed some of your comments into tags. Only a bit more work needed! Nergaal (talk) 00:03, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

The electron configuration is not correct. It is currently listed as [Ar] 3d10 4s2 4p2, when it is supposed to be [Ar] 4s2 3d10 4p2 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.233.171.142 (talk) 23:39, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

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## needed

1. more on germanium compounds.
2. expand intro.

Nergaal (talk) 23:23, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the intro should be corrected first. The correct expression is "high" concentration not "large" concentration because concentration is a percentage or an amount per volume. Germanium's relative abundance in the earth's crust is 51st (according to the Wikipedia link). This is not "relatively abundant" and 51st ranks with the rare earths. The reason for Germanium's late discovery is that very few minerals contain it in high enough concentration. I will change the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph to place emphasis on the main point, Ge was discovered relatively late. I'll also put in a reference to nanowires, which is a developing field.Laburke (talk) 02:36, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

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## Bounty for Germanium paid

See Wikipedia:Bounty_board/Expired_and_claimed_bounties#Claimed_bounties

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Comment: Bounty: paid for making Germanium GA ; en.wiki WikiProject Elements' users Nergaal, Stone, Cryptic C62
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## The purest substance?

I think that the statement that germanium is "the element that has been obtained in the highest purity" is a bit dubious, and the source is not the most convincing. This may be one of those factoids that get propagated without reference whether they are true or not (maybe it is true, but I'm not convinced). I haven't yet found any recent and credible source that explicitly compares ultrapure germanium with ultrapure silicon and says which one is purer. From Google books search, I found several books that simply said germanium was the purest substance, but they were all from the 1950s - 1960s. A few more recent books tended to favor silicon, and one said it has been prepared with a purity of 1 in 1015 (most of these are just "snippet views", unfortunately). I think it is possible that germanium was purest first, but may have been overtaken by silicon. I also note that other books and articles I found make the much safer claim that the element in question is "one of the purest" substances. However, this "rivalry" between germanium and silicon may be moot: Other sources say that the purest substance ever made is in fact superfluid helium-3! See for example this book. Of course, one could redefine the "award" to only include substances that one is able to make in large amounts and touch, or something else that would exclude crazy substances like superfluid helium. Because if we include this kind of physics, we might as well say that the Bose-Einstein condensate, consisting of perhaps 10,000 rubidium atoms, was also perfectly pure. ;-)

To conclude, what is to be done? I suggest replacing the statement with "one of the elements that have been obtained in the highest purity" and using a better reference. I think the book I just quoted would be a reasonable choice, but I'm sure there are better options hiding somewhere. --Itub (talk) 13:37, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I did also search for purity and found 11N or 12N for silicon would be max, but no good statment about the purest element and when the lead changed. So lets get rid of the statement.--Stone (talk) 13:55, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
"One of the purest substances" is probably neutral enough to be included. If the book is reliable enough, you could even add a note saying that it was the purest obtained substane in the 50s-60s.Nergaal (talk) 16:15, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
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## why?

did this get deleted? "For a long time the major application for germanium was infrared optics. Unlike most semiconductors, germanium has a small band gap, allowing it to efficiently respond to infrared light. It is therefore used in infrared spectroscopes and other optical equipment which require extremely sensitive infrared detectors. Its dioxide's index of refraction and dispersion properties make germanium useful in wide-angle camera lenses and in microscope objective lenses.[1]"

The first and the last sentence are already very similar in a other section and coul go. The midle section had no reference and I wanted to check before reinsert it.--Stone (talk) 22:00, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

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## Silicon-germanium

The author of the electronics section seems to prefer silicon-germanide instead of silicon-germanium. Since silicon-germanium is the established term for it and it refers to a solid solution between two similar elements I would prefer that. While a germanide may be non-stochiometric over some limited range one would expect some kind of distinctive composition ratio, not a wide continuous composition range. Furthermore if named as an "-ide compound" it ought to be germanium silicide since silicon is more elektronegative!

Agree. Deleted germanide as rare term for SiGe. Materialscientist (talk) 00:39, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
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## Newlands

The article on Newlands says "he predicted the existence of Germanium". This is not consistent with the present article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.177.171.194 (talk) 10:12, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

This might be the same issue as with the periodic table: several scientists devised it in some form around the same time, but Mendeleev's results were perhaps better justified, more systematic and better publicized after the discovery. Materialscientist (talk) 10:28, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{Reflist}} template or a <references /> tag (see the help page).

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