Germanium is a nonmetallic element of atomic number 32 and the symbol Ge. This lustrous, hard, silver-white material and is said to be chemically similar to tin. Germanium forms a large number of organometallic compounds and is an important polymerization catalyst as well as a semiconductor material used in transistors. It is also used in fiber optic systems, infrared optics and other electronic and solar electric applications. Primary sources are zinc ores and concentrates.