AskDefine | Define germane

Dictionary Definition

germane adj : having close kinship and appropriateness; "he asks questions that are germane and central to the issue" [syn: germane(p), related]

User Contributed Dictionary



From germānus


  • italbrac RP /dʒɜːˈmeɪn/
  • italbrac US /dʒɚˈmeɪn/
  • Rhymes with: -eɪn


  1. Related to the topic being discussed or considered.
    • 1924: ARISTOTLE. Metaphysics. Translated by W. D. Ross. Nashotah, Wisconsin, USA: The Classical Library, 2001. Available at: . Book 1, Part 5.
      Yet this much is germane to the present inquiry:

Related terms



related to the topic being discussed


  1. Another name for germanium tetrahydride.



From germanus



  1. sincerely

Extensive Definition

Germane is the chemical compound with the formula GeH4. It is the simplest germanium hydride and one of the most useful compounds of germanium. Like the related compounds silane and methane, germane is tetrahedral. It burns in air to produce GeO2 and water.


Many methods are known for the industrial manufacture of germane. These processes can be categorized as (a) chemical reduction method, (b) an electrochemical reduction method, and (c) a plasma based method.
The chemical reduction method involves contacting a germanium-containing compound such as elemental germanium, germanium tetrachloride, or germanium oxide with a reducing agent such as sodium borohydride, potassium borohydride, lithium borohydride, lithium aluminium hydride, sodium aluminium hydride, lithium hydride, sodium hydride, or magnesium hydride. The reaction can be carried out in either aqueous or in an organic solvent. On laboratory scale, germane can be prepared by the reaction of Ge(IV) compounds with hydride reagents. A typical synthesis involved the reaction of Na2GeO3 with sodium borohydride.
Na2GeO3 + NaBH4 + H2O → GeH4 + 2 NaOH + NaBO2
The electrochemical reduction method involves applying voltage to a germanium metal cathode immersed in an aqueous electrolyte solution and an anode counter-electrode composed of a metal such as molybdenum or cadmium. In this method, germane and hydrogen gases evolve from the cathode while the anode reacts to form solid molybdenum or cadmium oxides.
Lastly, the plasma synthesis method involves bombarding germanium metal with hydrogen atoms (H) that are generated using a high frequency plasma source to produce germane and digermane.


Germane has been detected in the atmosphere of Jupiter.

Use in semiconductor industry

The gas decomposes near 600K to germanium and hydrogen. Because of its thermal lability, germane is used in the semiconductor industry for the epitaxial growth of germanium by MOVPE or chemical beam epitaxy. Organogermanium precursors (e.g. isobutylgermane, alkylgermanium trichlorides, and dimethylaminogermanium trichloride) have been examined as less hazardous liquid alternatives to germane for deposition of Ge-containing films by MOVPE.


Germane is flammable, potentially pyrophoric, and toxic.


germane in Arabic: جيرمان
germane in German: Monogerman
germane in Spanish: Germano (gas)
germane in French: Germane
germane in Japanese: 水素化ゲルマニウム
germane in Russian: Германы
germane in Vietnamese: Gecman
germane in Chinese: 甲锗烷

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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