Whether oxygen is in its gaseous, liquid, or solid state, it does not conduct electricity. The covalent bond between two oxygen atoms is responsible for this. However, when ionized or in plasma form, it will conduct electricity.
Oxygen’s conductivity varies mainly with pressure. Depending on the increase in pressure, it may metalize and act as a conductor or semiconductor.
Is Oxygen Conductive
Fundamentally, oxygen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. Its unique properties include being denser than air and slight solubility in water. As for conductivity, oxygen is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. It supports combustion but does not burn.
At high pressures, gaseous molecules like hydrogen, nitrogen, or carbon monoxide generally polymerize into layers, chains, or framework structures. During that time, they typically change from insulators to metals. It means that they become more conductive as the pressure increases.
However, things are more complicated with oxygen. Under normal conditions, the molecules of oxygen have insulating properties. When the pressure is increased, oxygen starts metalizing and becomes a superconductor.
With a further increase in pressure, its structure converts into a polymer, and the molecules become semi-conducting. If you increase the pressure, even more, oxygen once regains its metallic properties. As a result, the conductivity increases again.
An interesting example is when walking around transmission lines, you may hear a hissing sound. The breakdown of O2 into single O molecules causes this. The single molecules then combine with molecular oxygen to form ozone. This process is known as Corona Discharge.
This implies that the air around the wire is breaking into simpler atoms with a huge increase in voltage. As a consequence, air might break down and start conducting.
Is Oxygen a Conductor or an Insulator
Oxygen is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. In other words, it is considered to be a good insulator. Fascinatingly as a non-metallic element, oxygen can be used for insulation purposes.
This is because nonmetals do not have enough free electrons or charge carriers for the flow of electricity. Therefore, they are bad conductors of electricity.
What Is the Conductivity of Oxygen
The thermal conductivity of Oxygen is 0.02674 W/(m·K) at room temperature. As for the fluid oxygen, the measured conductivity ranges from 10^4(Qcm)-1up to 50 (Qcm)-1 between 30 GPa and 80 GPa, respectively.
Is Oxygen a Conductor and Semiconductor
Oxygen can be a conductor and semiconductor depending on pressure. Under standard conditions, oxygen gas acts as an insulator. If we increase the pressure considerably, oxygen will metalize and become a superconductor. With a further increase in pressure, the structure changes into a polymer, and interestingly, oxygen becomes a semiconductor.
Are Gases Conductive
If there are free charges on the gas, then they do become conductive. However, under normal conditions, that is not usually the case. In general, the free charges come from ionization. It can be either photo ionization like from UV, x-ray, or gamma radiation, or it may be generated from field breakdown.
Oxygen is abundant in nature and it is an essential component for living organisms Whether the oxygen is liquid or gaseous, it is important to know about its conductivity. This article should give you a clear idea of that.