Sometimes in certain electric circuits (such as in voltaic cells) ions are moved around as well as electrons.

I have a basic understand of what materials (mostly metals) conduct electrons well but what materials conduct ions well? What makes ionic conduction fast or slow?

I have read that molten salts are good ionic conductors and that seems sensible to me because all particles in a molten salt are charge carriers and there is nothing to get in the way of carrying charge. But I don't know much more than that such as what sorts of molten salts would be the best ionic conductors.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Solids can also be ionic conductors - the famous example is α-AgI. The idea is that there are lots of holes and spaces for the silver ions to move around. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_ion_conductor In general, you would want to look at the exact 3D structure of the solid. $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol
    May 2 '16 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ related chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/26863/… $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    May 2 '16 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol Then would certain aerogels be fast ion conductors as they have lots of room for stuff to move around in? $\endgroup$ May 2 '16 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ I don't really know. "Holes" has a specific meaning here, it does not refer to macroscopic pores that you can see, like those of a sponge... it refers to empty cation sites, or interstitial sites, in the solid state structure. science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/c123/tetrahed.html $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol
    May 2 '16 at 21:57

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