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Solid state ion conductor

  1. Sep 29, 2015 #1
    I was wondering , are there any materials , metal or others, that have ions as the charge carriers that form current instead of electrons as in most metals.?
    and are the ohmic resistance in room temperature for example similar to materials were current is formed by electrons or is the resistance higher?

    Also if I can add , I would like to know , if I have two wires connected together , one is an oridnary wire with electrons forming current and the other wire has ions carrying current , now if i move both wires the same way through a magnetic field , would i have a single loop of current as in the current in one wire would go one way while the current in the ion wire would go the other way or would the currents both go the same way as would happen if both wires were made of ordinary copper?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Electrolytes conduct electricity using ions rather than electrons. The conductivity is typically lower than for metal.
  4. Sep 30, 2015 #3
    Like Dale said, electrolytes conduct electricity via ions rather than electrons. In P-type semiconductors, positively charged 'holes' in the crystal lattice are the majority charge carriers rather than electrons. As far as I know, there are no solid materials where actual ions are the charge carriers. Whether or not that's even theoretically possible is kind of an interesting question, maybe someone on here will know more. You can look up the electrical characteristics of semiconductors, and as you can imagine they vary considerably depending on the material. P-types are very commonly used though, and you can find them in BJTs, FETs, etc.
  5. Oct 1, 2015 #4


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    Science Advisor

    In fact, there are some examples: The lambda sensor in cars measures the oxygen concentration using a Zirconium oxide membrane which conducts oxygen ions at elevated temperatures. Another example are glass electrodes as used to measure the pH of solutions. There, hydrogen ions can move through the glass membrane. Another important material is sodium beta-alumina which is used in several high energy batteries. The sodium ion can move in the crystal lattice, here.
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