germanium arsenide is a semiconductor material that is used in transistor devices. It is also utilized in fiber-optic systems and infrared radiation detection systems. In addition, it is an alloying agent and a phosphor for fluorescent lamps.
It is a grayish-white metalloid with a diamond-like structure, lying between silicon and tin in group 14 of the periodic table. Like the other members of this group, it has both metallic and nonmetallic properties and is only sparingly distributed in nature. It reacts with oxygen at elevated temperatures forming divalent and tetravalent compounds, but is inert to most alkalis and acids except for nitric acid.
Its low vapor pressure and inertness allow it to be easily handled and manipulated. It is resistant to abrasion, sublimation and dissolution in most solvents. Its high index of refraction makes it useful for making lenses and optical systems. In devices such as a transistor or a solar cell, it is doped with arsenic and gallium for electronic characteristics.
It is produced to a wide variety of standard grades when applicable, including Mil Spec (military grade); ACS, Reagent and Technical; Food, Agricultural and Pharmaceutical; USP and EP/BP. It is available in a wide range of sizes and shapes and can be supplied with or without surface coatings, as well as in a variety of packaging options.