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Not a duplicate of Can Gases conduct Electricity, since it asks about ionised gases, which is irrelevant to my question.

This is what I already know:

  • All metals have a giant metal lattice, where atoms are positive ions in a ‘sea’ of delocalised electrons, since they lose their outer (valency) electrons. The metal conducts electricity because the delocalised electrons can move throughout the structure when a voltage is applied.

  • Carbon is the only non-metal that conducts electricity, when it is graphite, and it conducts for a similar reason that metals do. Only 3 out of 4 outer (valency) electrons are used in forming covalent bonds, and all of the atoms’ 4th electrons are free to move along the layers when a voltage is applied, carrying the current. (Current can only be carried along the layers, not throughout the structure like a metal)

I also know that metals still conduct electricity when liquid, but liquid carbon does not.

My question is this:

  • Can metal vapour conduct electricity?

  • Can carbon vapour conduct electricity ?

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  • $\begingroup$ Part I answered here- chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/28015/… $\endgroup$
    – Sam
    Jan 10, 2020 at 20:43
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    $\begingroup$ Semiconductors are not metals, but they conduct. Vapors can certainly be ionized just fine, and can then conduct. Plasmas conduct. Clarity needed as to just what you are asking. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 10, 2020 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ Is this a question about carbon arcs? $\endgroup$
    – user137289
    Jan 11, 2020 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Pieter no it isn’t. I’m asking if carbon vapour or metal vapour conducts electricity. $\endgroup$ Jan 12, 2020 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ I cannot think of any other terrestrial situation where carbon vapour would be of electrical interest. The vapour pressure is just too low. $\endgroup$
    – user137289
    Jan 12, 2020 at 17:12

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Metal vapors are insulators but at high density mercury vapor exhibits a metal non-metal transition: https://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.40.697

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  • $\begingroup$ What about carbon vapour? $\endgroup$ Jan 11, 2020 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ @AryanBeezadhur See Pieter's comment to your question: "I cannot think of any other terrestrial situation where carbon vapour would be of electrical interest. The vapour pressure is just too low. – Pieter Jan 12 at 17:12". $\endgroup$
    – stafusa
    Jan 17, 2020 at 12:49

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