Silicon is typically a very poor conductor of electricity and often considered an insulator. However, a process called doping introduces a small amount of other material into the crystal structure to convert silicon from an insulator to a semiconductor. Semiconductors are essential parts of computers and other electronics.Know More
Most metals are good electrical conductors, because the way in which their atoms connect allows electrons relatively free movement through the metal. However, silicon and other elements located near it on the periodic table of the elements form rigid crystalline structures that hold the electrons firmly in place. When scientists add a small amount of one of the neighboring elements to silicon, there is enough of a break in the rigid structure that electrons flow under certain conditions.
Diodes are the simplest of semiconductors. They allow electrons to flow, but in only one direction. One simple use of a diode is to protect an electronic device if the user inserts the batteries in the wrong direction. Transistors serve as switches and amplifiers for electrical current. Silicon chips hold thousands of transistors. Semiconductor chips greatly reduced the cost of electronics, such as computers, so they became affordable to the masses. The number of transistors on the chip allows reduction in size of computers and electronic devices.Learn more about Electricity
Electrolytic solutions are good liquid conductors of electricity because the solute, an electrolyte, is a substance that easily disassociates into its component ions when it is in an aqueous solution. Electrolyte substances can be grouped into three generalized classes: strong acids, strong bases and soluble salts. An aqueous solution of hydrochloric acid is an example of an electrolytic solution that is an excellent liquid conductor of electricity.Full Answer >
Metals conduct electricity well due to the fact that the outermost electrons in their atoms are held by weak atomic forces, allowing these electrons to flow easily from one atom to another. This flow of electrons is what lies at the heart of an electric current.Full Answer >
The atoms of solid sodium are bound together through metallic bonding, which involves the presence of delocalized electrons around positive ions of sodium. The delocalized electrons can carry an electric current, thus allowing solid sodium to conduct electricity.Full Answer >
There is no metal that does not conduct electricity entirely, but there are some metals that are less effective conductors than others. Metal atoms have electrons in their outer shells that are not tied to any particular atom and can flow freely within the metal when electricity is applied.Full Answer >