Electrical conductivities of elements in periodic table | Periodic table conductivity

Learning Objectives

In this article, the author has explained about electrical conductivities of elements in the periodic table and conductivity trend periodic table. After reading this article you will learn the following topics.

  • Electrical conductivity periodic table
  • Conductivity trend periodic table
  • Electricity periodic table

What is electrical conductivity?

Electrical conductivity is the capability of a substance to conduct the electric current due to the presence of free electrons without changing the composition of the substance.

Definition of electrical conductivity

Electrical conductivities of metals

Normally when we talk about the electrical conductivity, metals comes first in mind. Metals are considered the good conductors of electricity because of presence of free electrons.

However, there are certain elements other than metals with the ability of electrical conductance. Below given is the details of elements that can conduct electricity.

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How to find electrical conductivity of elements?

What is Electrochemistry

Reason for electrical conductivity in periodic table

There is a close link between free electrons and electrical conductivity. The property of electrical conductivity is mainly due to the presence of a relatively large number of electrons in the outermost shell of the elements. Moreover, these electrons should feel easy for the movement in their lattice.

Conductivity trend periodic table

  • The elements of group I-A and II-A decrease their electrical conductivities from top to the bottom in a group.
  • The elements of group I-B i.e., Cu, Ag, Au are called coinage metals These have higher values of electrical conductance,
  • The elements of group VI-A and VII-A i.e., oxygen and halogen family members show very low electrical conductance.
Trends of electrical conductivity in the periodic table
Trends of electrical conductivity in the periodic table

Electrical conductivity of transition elements

The elements of the transition metal series show abrupt changes in the electrical conductance.

However, when we go from left to the right in the periodic table, it indicates an interesting correlation. This is between electrical conductance of the transition elements and it is the ability of the valance electron to form covalent bonds within the elements.

Reasons for high conductivity of group I-A, II-A and III-A

The atoms of these elements contains number of free valence electrons. Therefore, these possess the ability to move around in the crystal structure. These cannot achieve a closed shell electronic configuration even by mutual sharing. For this reason, these show electrical conductivities.

Reasons for low conductance of group V-A, VI-A, and VII-A elements

In these elements, the movement of valence electrons is generally restricted, as they pair up to achieve a close shell configuration. They form the covalent molecules. The value of electrical conductance of these elements are very low.

 Electrical conductance of IV-A group elements

 The elements of group IV-A i.e., C, Si, Ge, Sn, Pb have intermediate character regarding electrical conductivity.

  • Carbon in the form of diamond is a non-conductor, because all of its valence electrons are tetrahedrally bonded, and these cannot move freely.
  • Carbon in the form of graphite is shown the property of electrical conductance. Anyhow it shows anisotropic behavior. Electrical current can pass parallel to the sheets. Actually loosely held electrons are available parallel to the sheets for electrical conductivity.
  • The lowe elements of the group¬† IV-A such as Sn and Pb are also failry good conductors of electricity. Their electrical conductivities are very close to the elements of group I-A.

Values of electrical conductivities of elements in periodic table

Values of electrical conductivities of elements in periodic table
Values of electrical conductivities of elements in periodic table


What elements are conductive?

The elements that are conductive are the elements that have the ability to transmit the electric current. These elements will transfer the electric charge from one place to another place. So, these are the elements that are conductive.

Why does electrical conductivity increase down a group?

Electrical conductivity increases down a group because of the increasing size number of electrons of atoms. Further with the increase in atomic size electrons feels less nuclear attraction and tend to become loosely attached. Therefore, electrical conductivity increase down a group.

Why are metals conductive?

Metal atoms have a larger atomic size. Metals have loosely attached electrons in outermost shells. Therefore these electrons transfer electric current and hence metals are conductive.

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