Why Copper Is Conductor Of Electricity? Is Copper Best Choice?

You may have observed that most electrical connectors in your home are coated with copper or constructed of metal. Copper electrical connections are used in power production, distribution, transmission, and telecommunication. Why Copper Is Conductor Of Electricity? and common in cables?

In this article, we explain if copper is an effective electrical conductor and whether its conductivity varies with temperature. You’ll also discover whether copper transfers heat corrodes, or interacts with water. Finally, we shall discuss copper’s characteristics and applications in more detail.

Why Copper Is Conductor Of Electricity?

The fact that copper is commonly utilized in all types of electrical wiring can indicate that it is a good conductor of electricity. Copper contains a lot of free electrons that can conduct electricity, which is why metal is a good conductor of electricity.

Copper Is Conductor Of Electricity

Is Copper A Good Electrical Conductor?

Because copper has free electrons, it is a good conductor of electricity. When an electrical potential is supplied, the free electrons in copper atoms are placed in one direction.

They then transition from the negative terminal to the positive one. Due to their movement while carrying an electric current, electrons conduct electricity.

Electrons can move freely when kinetic energy, a type of energy present in nature, is present. When sufficient energy is continuously delivered to an atom, it becomes too energetic.

After a period, the electron finds it difficult to keep its designated orbit. As the orbital radius grows, the electron exits the orbit and flows freely away from it.

Is Copper A Good Electrical Conductor

When there is an electric current, charges move. If enough free electrons are available, an element is a good conductor. Because it has free-charge carriers, copper is a good conductor of electricity in this situation.

Why Is Copper A Good Electricity Conductor?

Copper tends to be a good conductor of electricity due to its orbital structure. The metal has an electrical structure of [Ar] 3d104s1. The fourth orbit’s valence electron is loosely bonded since it is far from the nucleus.

When voltage is supplied, the copper atoms’ loosely bound electrons split and start moving toward the positive terminal while carrying an electric charge.

Why Is Copper A Good Electricity Conductor

Its low ionization energy is another element that contributes to copper’s strength as an electrical conductor. Copper’s ionization energy is 7.72 eV, a very low value.

Due to its low ionization energy, copper atoms can easily lose their valence electron and turn CU-positive.

Due to its location in the fourth subshell, the free valence electron is separated from the positively charged nucleus.

The nucleus can no longer trap the copper atoms negatively charged free electrons and eventually breaks loose. The negatively charged electron will then start to move freely inside the atom at that point.

More Information On Copper’s Electrical Conductivity

The negatively charged free electrons will resume travel between the atoms until an electric potential is supplied. The application of a voltage has now established the positive and negative ends of the metal.

Now the electrons, which are negatively charged, start to flow in the direction of the metal’s positive terminals. These charges are in motion thanks to an electric current.

Copper is a good conductor because it has a low amount of resistance. It has a 1.68108 resistivity level at 20 °C, which is excessively low.

Resistance is the term used to describe an electric current’s challenges when it passes through a conductor. After some time, a material heats up when an electrical current passes through it because of electrical resistance.

Does Copper’s Conductivity Change With Temperature?

Temperature variations influence the conductivity of copper. The electrical conductivity of copper often declines as temperature increases. Electrical conductivity in copper is made possible by the free electrons’ mobility.

As the temperature increases, the free electrons have more energy and can move about the atoms. The temperature rise has made it possible for the atoms in the copper metal to migrate. Vibrations in the lattice are caused by atomic motion.

These vibrations slow the electrons’ unfettered motion. The atoms or the lattice structure come into contact with the free electrons due to the vibrations. When electrons are unable to move swiftly, electrical conductivity is reduced. 

Uses Of Copper

Below is a list of a few copper applications:

  • Copper is used to make electrical cables and lines because metal is an excellent conductor of electricity. Because of its high electrical conductivity, metal is also utilized to make integrated circuits and heat sinks.
  • Due to its role in internal oxygen and electron transport reactions, copper is an essential trace element for most plants and animals. It is also a corrosion-resistant architectural material, anti-biofouling and antimicrobial substance, jewelry and compression clothing component, and weatherproofing agent.

Does Copper Corrode?

Copper corrodes and gets a greenish covering over time due to oxygen exposure. During corrosion, copper loses its free electrons to an electrolyte solution (water) and oxygen, two substances that tend to absorb extra electrons.

The processes speed up the transfer of electrons from metal to oxygen. When copper corrodes, a greenish patina forms, which is an indication of what happens.

The initially greenish coating quickly develops hues of brown, black, and an odd blue-green tinge. Corrosion happens more quickly to copper when exposed to oxidizing acids, sulfur, ammonia, and road salt.

However, corrosion in copper is sometimes a good thing. For instance, did you know that patina is the greenish layer covering the Statue of Liberty? The copper item has a lovely appearance thanks to its oxidative coating.

It also prevents further oxygen exposure and corrosion. The main rationale for why metal is utilized so commonly for gutter work, outdoor sculptures, and roofing.

Does Copper React With Water?

Water and copper don’t interact. Different chemical processes take place when metals are in contact with water. Copper usually reacts with water, albeit sluggishly, in the presence of oxygen and other contaminants.

The reaction imparts a metallic flavor to the water. Water and copper do not interact when there are no impurities present.

Pollutants create a complex of copper salts that give water interacting with copper a metallic taste. In the metals’ order of reactivity, copper comes after hydrogen.

Metals are either reactive or non-reactive, depending on whether they are above or below hydrogen.

Normal conditions prevent any metal below hydrogen from being able to draw hydrogen out of water. Copper can replace hydrogen in water with oxygen and other harmful substances.

Copper and oxygen do not interact because the oxygen in water is bound up in a complex. The compound is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Copper and oxygen combine to form copper oxide.


Did you understand Why Copper Is Conductor Of Electricity? Effective thermal and electrical conductors include copper. Free electrons not only vibrate and produce heat, but they also carry an electric current. A beautiful greenish covering known as patina emerges when copper corrodes, stopping further corrosion.

It’s crucial to remember that even while copper corrodes, water won’t react with it until there are impurities. As temperature rises, copper’s conductivity varies. Due to its many different qualities, copper is used in several industrial applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best electrical conductor?

Even though pure silver is the best receiver of electricity, it is not one of the metals used most often to carry electricity.

Has copper been proven to be a conductor?

Brass, steel, aluminum, copper, silver, and other metals are frequently used as electrical conductors. Silver, copper, and gold are the metals that conduct electricity the best.

What makes a good insulator?

With silica aerogels having thermal conductivities of less than 0.03 W/m*K in the atmosphere, aerogel is most likely the best insulator currently, as it keeps ice from melting on a hot plate at 80 degrees Celsius!

What substance has the maximum conductivity?

Of all the metals, silver has the highest electrical conductivity. Silver is the standard by which conductivity in all other metals is measured. Silver ranks 100 on a scale of 0 to 100, followed by copper at 97 and gold at 76.

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