Are there any better electrical conductors than Silver

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Offline syhprum

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Traditionally Silver has been considered to be the best electrical conductor, has any recent research found anything better ?
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Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are there any better electrical conductors than Silver
« Reply #1 on: 23/04/2014 09:45:10 »
Super Conductors?

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: Are there any better electrical conductors than Silver
« Reply #2 on: 23/04/2014 09:58:07 »
Pyrolytic graphite. It's highly anisotropic, with amazingly good electrical and thermal conductivity in one plane but more like a semiconductor in the perpendicular direction.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline evan_au

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Re: Are there any better electrical conductors than Silver
« Reply #3 on: 23/04/2014 10:01:36 »
At room temperature, graphene has slightly better conductivity than silver. However, graphene is a 2-dimensional conductor, and does not conduct well between the graphene layers.

"Better" can mean many things:
  • In terms of cost, aluminium is "better" than silver, and silver is better than graphene - if you want to make a wires of a given resistance. (Graphene currently has a ridiculous price, if you work it out per kg).
  • If mass is important for your application, then aluminium is "better" than silver.
  • If ease of making high-quality joins is important, then copper or silver is "better" than aluminium.
  • If ductility is important (and the quantity is small, as in semiconductor chips), gold is "best".
  • ...and Superconductors beat all the rest - if you can afford the cryogenic refrigeration and the space for all the thermal insulation.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_conductivity#Resistivity_of_various_materials
« Last Edit: 23/04/2014 10:53:35 by evan_au »

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Offline syhprum

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Re: Are there any better electrical conductors than Silver
« Reply #4 on: 23/04/2014 16:48:19 »
Many thanks for bringing me up to date I suspected that some exotic modern materials might have a lower resistivity but as you say how you define best leads to several other materials
syhprum