Germanium is one of the rarest metals on Earth. The silver glossy element melts at just under 940 °C and boils at 2,820 °C. According to the latest definition, germanium is considered a semiconductor. Its density anomaly repeatedly amazes scientists: The density of germanium is lower in solid condition than in liquid, so the metal weighs more in liquid condition than in solid. The inert technology metal is widespread, but only occurs in very low concentrations.
For a long time, germanium was the leading material in electronics. Today, it is mainly used in fiber optics and constitutes an essential component of modern communication technology. Germanium can also be used for the production of infrared permeability optics. Therefore, it is indispensable for the production of night vision devices and thermal imaging cameras. The resource is also used in semiconductors, recyclable PET bottles, high-performance processors, detectors for X-rays and photovoltaics.
The increasing use of fiber optic cables could increase the demand for germanium in this area by 2030 by eightfold.
For germanium, supply bottlenecks are predicted: Due to new high-tech developments, the Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research expects a significant increase in germanium demand by 2030. In the field of fiber optic cables, it is even assumed that the demand for germanium will increased eightfold. A significant increase in demand, which is likely to be tantamount to a serious increase in prices. Investors who now physically store germanium can benefit from this price increase.
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