What is the Ionic Charge of Germanium (Ge)? And Why?

Charge of Germanium (Ge)

The common Ionic Charges of Germanium (Ge) are 4-, 2+ and 4+.

But the question is how can you find the ionic charge on Germanium (Ge)?

Well, germanium is one of the elements that have a variable ionic charge.

The ionic charge of germanium depends on what it is bonded with.

So let’s try to find out the ionic charge of Germanium (Ge) using some examples.

You can also refer to the below video from which you will learn to find charge of any ion.

How to find the ionic charge of Germanium (Ge)?

As I mentioned earlier, the ionic charge of Germanium (Ge) can be found out by looking at what it is bonded with.

So let’s take examples of compounds of Germanium (Ge) like GeCl4, GeF2, GeH4, GeO2, etc.

Example 1: GeCl4
In GeCl4, the Germanium (Ge) is bonded to Chlorine (Cl).
You know that the ionic charge of Cl is 1-.
So you can easily say that the ionic charge of Ge should be 4+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Germanium in GeCl4 is 4+.

Example 2: GeF2
In GeF2, the Germanium (Ge) is bonded to Fluorine (F).
And again, you know that the ionic charge of F is 1-.
So here also you can easily say that the ionic charge of Ge should be 2+, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Germanium in GeF2 is 2+.

Example 3: GeH4
Similarly in GeH4, the Germanium (Ge) is bonded to Hydrogen (H).
And you know that the ionic charge of H is 1+.
So from this, you can easily say that the ionic charge of Ge should be 4-, then only it will get canceled out.
Hence the ionic charge of Germanium in GeH4 is 4-.

In this way, Germanium can have variable charges depending on what it is bonded to.

But as seen from the above examples,
The most common charges of Germanium (Ge) are 4-, 2+ and 4+.

I hope you have understood why germanium has variable ionic charges.

Check out some other related topics for your practice.

Related topics:
Charge on H2S
Charge on HBr
Charge on POCl3
Charge on NO3 (Nitrate ion)
Charge on SO4 (Sulfate ion) 

Author

Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. With a desire to make learning accessible for everyone, he founded Knords Learning, an online chemistry learning platform that provides students with easily understandable explanations.

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