If we apply pressure to a solid, does it change its electric conductivity? I am asking this because in 2020 they announced a superconductor at room temperature but under a pressure of 3/4 of the pressure in the core of the Earth. Decreasing pressure decreased the critical temperature. So I was wondering if pressure affects the electric conductivity of other materials as well? And if it does is there an intuitive explanation, why?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Superconductivity is almost unrelated to ordinary conductivity. As for the pressure that great, sure, it changes the structure of compounds and pretty much all their properties. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ Regardless of the change in the structure of compounds does it influence the motion of electrons(or holes) or not? $\endgroup$
    – Miss Mulan
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 21:35
  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/83355/… $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ Well, a change in structure (crystal type) will definitely change the band structure. Further, even in the same crystal structure hydrostatic pressure does change the inter-atomic spacings which also changes the band structure. For example, with increasing pressure the band gap of silicon decreases which changes the intrinsic carrier concentrations at a given temperature. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ This is a very rich area. If you Google "effect of pressure on electrical conductivity" you'll find many articles on the subject. With some materials the conductivity goes up with pressure, with others it goes down, and with still others it goes in one direction and then reverses. And the conductivity is much more pressure-sensitive in some materials than others. So you can infer from this that the mechanism by which pressure affects conductivity is very material-specific. Alas, I don't know the field well enough to offer a particularly nice specific example to illustrate the phenomenon. $\endgroup$
    – theorist
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 6:00


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