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Electrical conduction in materials arises due to the flow of charge carriers such as electrons or ions. Based on the nature of charge carriers, the materials may be called electronic or ionic conductors. The electronic structure of solids is fundamental to understanding the electrical properties of materials. The chapter starts with a discussion of the simple approach to explain electrical conduction of metals, the ‘free electron model’. Development of band theory led to a deeper understanding of the distinction between metals and semiconductors and many related properties. Discussion of metals and semiconductors is followed by a brief introduction to superconductivity that involves unique electrical conduction (zero resistance) coupled with magnetic properties (perfect diamagnetism). Phenomena such as piezo-, pyro- and ferroelectricity in dielectric materials are also discussed in this chapter.

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