The Use Of Germanium
Germanium is a compound in the carbon group, which is very similar to and has many of the characteristics of its neighbor silicon. However, unlike silicon, germanium is not naturally occurring and very few minerals contain it in any high concentration.
Germanium was actually the first compound to be originally be widely used as a semiconductor, but the fact that is so hard to produce in any large quantity makes it cost prohibitive to be commercially used as a semiconductor now that silicon is so available and has come into widespread commercial use.
Germanium is still used in many commercial applications as well as being widely used as a semiconductor in various specialized electronics and electronic devices.