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The article provides information on germanium, an element with electrical properties between those of a metal and an insulator. Applications of germanium include its use as a component of the glass in fiber-optic cable, in infrared optics devices and as a semiconductor and substrate used in electronic and solar applications. Germanium was first isolated by German chemist Clemens Winkler in 1886 and was named after Winkler's native country. In 2008, the leading sources of primary germanium from coal or zinc include Canada, China and Russia.