Conductors – These allow electricity to pass through (usually metals)

Semi – conductors-These conduct only under some conditions e.g. only when hot e.g. silicon, graphite

Non – conductors (insulators) – Do not conduct electricity at all e.g. plastic, wood


Conductors are separated into

  1. Metals and Graphite
  2. Electrolytes

Metal and Graphite – These conduct due to the presence of free mobile electrons. The material remains the same.

Electrolytes – conduction happens due to free ions. There is a chemical breakdown of the electrolyte. They do not conduct in the solid state.

pictureof a metal conductor


Electrolytes may be

  • Strong electrolytes – These are completely ionized in aqueous solution e.g. strong acids(H2SO4, HCl)
  • Weak electrolyte – These are partially ionized in aqueous solution e.g. weak acids and base – ethanoic acid, aqueous ammonia)

During conduction

  • No electrons are lost or gained
  • Electrons leave one end and enters the other end



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