Industrial production of Germanium has begun in 1961 in Russia, in one of work shops of Krasnoyarsk Plant of non-ferrous metals. In the first ten years of the work, our enterprise adopted unique technologies under recycling of germanium concentrate in such final products as: Germanium dioxide and zone refined polycrystalline germanium. Our produced volumes allowed as not only to refuse completely from import of these products, but also to export them successfully. Furnaces of monocrystals growing started coming to the work shop in January of 1962 and we could receive the first Ge monocrystals at the end of February for the semiconductor industry. In the end of 80th the beginning of the 90th years the staff of the enterprise started developing the new direction such as production development of extra-pure Germanium tetrachloride and extra-pure Germanium. We found and realized successfully a lot of intelligent solutions of technological and organizational tasks. It allowed us to make considerable jump in development of technological level of production. In 1986 we could begin production of Germanium tetrachloride for optical fiber and in next year we could start production of extra-pure Ge monocrystals.
At the end of 1990 the management of Krasnoyarsk plant of non-ferrous metals made the decision regarding closing of Germanium production. The foreman (and future General Director) of the enterprise Oleg Podkopaev, together with workforce in number of 180 people defended еру necessity of preservation of unique production. So in 1991 the history of Germanium shop as a part of plant ended, and from consent and good will of the plant Director- Vladimir Gulidov, the state enterprise "Germanium" was formed.
Coal mining in a strip pit of Novikovsky (Sakhalin Island) stops in 1992 and production remains without any raw materials. The staff of the enterprise started new business – recycling of foreign raw materials into pure metal germanium and then into monocrystals ingots. Then it was succeeded to coordinate and receive necessary approval documents in customs authorities. We found new opportunities for recycling due to the high Ge content and it helped us to work and develop further.
In 1999 the enterprise received the status of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise.
The beginning of industrial Ge production and list of output products was defined by demand in Germanium as a component of semiconductor electronics in the first year of production, but in 1986 a share of Germanium in electronics was reduced to 3%. Further researches of Ge properties led to opening of additional areas of its application.
New target was determined for our enterprise - development of Ge production for infrared optics. In 2000 we began output and export of Germanium blanks of various forms of optical quality. Requirements of customers to the configuration of blanks, admissions for the geometrical sizes, capacity defined the necessity of purchasing of the high-precision equipment with program control for machining of Germanium. Some machines for processing of spherical surfaces were started in work in 2002. During the last few years, our enterprise has bought and put into operation modern and imported equipment for cutting, polishing, drilling, and processing of difficult forms of surfaces. Rigging of production by new equipment is the main task of our enterprise.
Besides technological infrastructure, the staff of the enterprise continues to work under improvement of technologies of receiving optical Germanium:
- there was created and implemented into our production -know-how in 2005, which let us get large-sized plates from polycrystalline Germanium of optical quality;
- our enterprise together with research institutes investigates dependence of optical properties on thermal conditions of crystal growing, electro physical parameters; solves problems under increasing of the maximum dimensions of blanks.
The enterprise was reorganized into JSC GERMANIUM and was under control of the holding company JSC "Roselektronika" since December of 2011, which is a part of the Rostec State corporation.
Organizational and legal form of our enterprise was changed to joint-stock company (JSC Germanium) in February of 2015.
At the present time, we can divide the consumption of Ge into 5 main groups: Infrared optics - 30%; fiber optics - 20%; PET - 20%; electronics and solar power - 20%; other fields - 10%.
For today JSC "GERMANIUM" is hi tech and modern enterprise with full production cycle. Each cycle produces quality finished goods steadily.