Electronic materials – conductors, insulators, semiconductors – play an important role in todayʼs technology. They constitute electrical and electronic devices
, such as radio, television, telephone, electric light, electromotors, computers, etc. From a materials science point of view, the electrical properties of materials characterize two basic processes: electrical energy conduction (and dissipation) and electrical energy storage.
Electrical conductivity describes the ability of a material to transport charge through the process of conduction, normalized by geometry. Electrical dissipation comes as the result of charge transport or conduction. Dissipation or energy loss results from the conversion of electrical energy to thermal energy (Joule heating) through momentum transfer during collisions as the charges move.
Electrical storage is the result of charge storing energy. This process is dielectric polarization, normalized by geometry to be the material property called dielectric permittivity. As polarization occurs and causes charges to move, the charge motion is also dissipative.
In this chapter, the main methods to characterize the electrical properties of materials are compiled. Sections 9.2
describe the measuring methods under the following headings
As an introductory overview, in Sect. 9.1
the basic categories of electrical materials are outlined in adopting the classification and terminology of the chapter Electronic Properties of Materials
of Understanding Materials Science