Table of Electrical Resistivity and Conductivity

Resistors on a computer circuit board
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This table presents the electrical resistivity and electrical conductivity of several materials. 

Electrical resistivity, represented by the Greek letter ρ (rho), is a measure of how strongly a material opposes the flow of electric current. The lower the resistivity, the more readily the material permits the flow of electric charge.

Electrical conductivity is the reciprocal quantity of resistivity. Conductivity is a measure of how well a material conducts an electric current. Electric conductivity may be represented by the Greek letter σ (sigma), κ (kappa), or γ (gamma).

Table of Resistivity and Conductivity at 20°C

Material ρ (Ω•m) at 20 °C
Resistivity
σ (S/m) at 20 °C
Conductivity
Silver 1.59×10−8 6.30×107
Copper 1.68×10−8 5.96×107
Annealed copper 1.72×10−8 5.80×107
Gold 2.44×10−8 4.10×107
Aluminum 2.82×10−8 3.5×107
Calcium 3.36×10−8 2.98×107
Tungsten 5.60×10−8 1.79×107
Zinc 5.90×10−8 1.69×107
Nickel 6.99×10−8 1.43×107
Lithium 9.28×10−8 1.08×107
Iron 1.0×10−7 1.00×107
Platinum 1.06×10−7 9.43×106
Tin 1.09×10−7 9.17×106
Carbon steel (1010) 1.43×10−7
Lead 2.2×10−7 4.55×106
Titanium 4.20×10−7 2.38×106
Grain oriented electrical steel 4.60×10−7 2.17×106
Manganin 4.82×10−7 2.07×106
Constantan 4.9×10−7 2.04×106
Stainless steel 6.9×10−7 1.45×106
Mercury 9.8×10−7 1.02×106
Nichrome 1.10×10−6 9.09×105
GaAs 5×10−7 to 10×10−3 5×10−8 to 103
Carbon (amorphous) 5×10−4 to 8×10−4 1.25 to 2×103
Carbon (graphite) 2.5×10−6 to 5.0×10−6 //basal plane
3.0×10−3 ⊥basal plane
2 to 3×105 //basal plane
3.3×102 ⊥basal plane
Carbon (diamond) 1×1012 ~10−13
Germanium 4.6×10−1 2.17
Sea water 2×10−1 4.8
Drinking water 2×101 to 2×103 5×10−4 to 5×10−2
Silicon 6.40×102 1.56×10−3
Wood (damp) 1×103 to 4 10−4 to 10-3
Deionized water 1.8×105 5.5×10−6
Glass 10×1010 to 10×1014 10−11 to 10−15
Hard rubber 1×1013 10−14
Wood (oven dry) 1×1014 to 16 10−16 to 10-14
Sulfur 1×1015 10−16
Air 1.3×1016 to 3.3×1016 3×10−15 to 8×10−15
Paraffin wax 1×1017 10−18
Fused quartz 7.5×1017 1.3×10−18
PET 10×1020 10−21
Teflon 10×1022 to 10×1024 10−25 to 10−23

Factors That Affect Electrical Conductivity

There are three main factors that affect the conductivity or resistivity of a material:

  1. Cross-Sectional Area: If the cross-section of a material is large, it can allow more current to pass through it. Similarly, a thin cross-section restricts current flow.
  2. Length of the Conductor: A short conductor allows current to flow at a higher rate than a long conductor. It's a bit like trying to move a lot of people through a hallway.
  3. Temperature: Increasing temperature makes particles vibrate or move more. Increasing this movement (increasing temperature) decreases conductivity because the molecules are more likely to get in the way of current flow. At extremely low temperatures, some materials are superconductors.

Resources and Further Reading