Germanium dichloride

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Germanium dichloride
Preferred IUPAC name
Germanium dichloride
Systematic IUPAC name
Other names

Germanium(II) chloride

Germanous chloride
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.030.162
EC Number 233-192-1
Molar mass 143.546 g/mol
Appearance white-pale yellow solid
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Germanium dichloride is a chemical compound of germanium and chlorine with the formula GeCl2. It is a solid and contains germanium in the +2 oxidation state.


Solid GeCl2 can be produced by passing germanium tetrachloride, GeCl4, over Ge metal at 650 °C.[1]

GeCl4 + Ge → 2GeCl2

It is also formed from the decomposition of chlorogermane, GeH3Cl, at 70 °C.[1]

2 GeH3Cl → GeCl2 + GeH4 + H2


GeCl2 is hydrolysed to give yellow germanium(II) hydroxide, which on warming gives brown germanium monoxide:[1]

GeCl2(aq) + 2H2O(l) <=> Ge(OH)2(s) + 2HCl(aq)
Ge(OH)2 → GeO + H2O

Alkalizing a solution containing germanium(II) ions:

Ge2+(aq) + 2OH(aq) = Ge(OH)2(s)

Germanium oxides and hydroxides are amphoteric. Solutions of GeCl2 in HCl are strongly reducing.[2] With chloride ion, ionic compounds containing the pyramidal GeCl3 ion have been characterised, for example [3] With rubidium and caesium chloride compounds, e.g.RbGeCl3 are produced; these have distorted perovskite structures.[1]

Molecular GeCl2, dichlorogermylene[edit]

Molecular GeCl2 is often called dichlorogermylene, highlighting its resemblance to a carbene. The structure of gas-phase molecular GeCl2 shows that it is a bent molecule, as predicted by VSEPR theory.[4] The dioxane complex, GeCl2.dioxane, has been used as a source of molecular GeCl2 for reaction syntheses, as has the in situ reaction of GeCl4 and Ge metal. GeCl2 is quite reactive and inserts into many different types of chemical bonds.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-08-037941-9. 
  2. ^ Egon Wiberg, Arnold Frederick Holleman (2001) Inorganic Chemistry, Elsevier ISBN 0-12-352651-5
  3. ^ Kociok-Köhn, G.; Winter, J. G.; Filippou, A. C. (1999). "Trimethylphosphonium trichlorogermanate(II)". Acta Crystallogr. C. 55 (3): 351–353. doi:10.1107/S010827019801169X. 
  4. ^ Tsuchiya, Masaki J.; Honjou, Hiroaki; Tanaka, Keiichi; Tanaka, Takehiko; (1995). "Millimeter-wave spectrum of germanium dichloride GeCl2. Equilibrium structure and anharmonic force field". Journal of Molecular Structure. 352–353: 407–415. doi:10.1016/0022-2860(95)08830-O. 
  5. ^ Egorov, M.P.; Gaspar, P. (1994). "Germanium: Organometallic chemistry". Encyclopedia of Inorganic chemistry. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-93620-0.