Section: 12 | Electrical Resistivity of Graphite Materials |
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John R. Rumble, ed., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 103rd Edition (Internet Version 2022), CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL.
If a specific table is cited, use the format: "Physical Constants of Organic Compounds," in CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 103rd Edition (Internet Version 2022), John R. Rumble, ed., CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL.


L. I. Berger

At normal conditions, the only stable crystallographic modification of carbon is graphite. The quasi-stable diamond turns into graphite starting from about 1000 ºC in air. In industry, a graphitic material is commonly called either carbon, if it consists of small and low-oriented crystallites, or graphite, the material with a highly ordered structure. In the 1970s, the first carbon filaments of about 7 nm in diameter were grown by Morinobu Endo at the University of Orleans, France, by the vapor-growth technique. In 1985, Sir Harold Walter Kroto of Sussex University, UK, and Richard E. Smalley and coworkers at Rice University discovered spherical carbon molecules, C60 (or C-60), consisting of combinations of carbon atoms organized into hexagons and pentagons, named buckminsterfullerenes or fullerenes and possessing very promising mechanical and electrical properties. In 1991, Sumio Iijima, NEC Labs, Japan, and David S. Bethune, IBM Almaden Labs, observed the carbon atomic groups in the form of tubes capped by halves of the fullerene molecules and formed on the cathodes of carbon arc devices. The length of the tubes could be up to tens of micrometers and the diameter, naturally, is equal to that of the fullerene molecule. These tubes, called nanotubes, may be single wall (SWNT) or consist of several concentric tubes with a common axis (multi-walled nanotubes, MWNT). Two-dimensional graphene is another crystallographic modification of graphite (Saroj Nayak, Rensselaer U., 2004) that is a flat hexagonal network of carbon atoms with a thickness equal to the carbon atom size. The nanotube may be considered as formed by strips of graphene turned into a cylinder. The character of the electrical conductivity (metallic or semiconductive) of a SWNT depends on orientation of the carbon hexagons of the nanotube surface regarding its axis (the chiral angle [Ref. 1]). The following table contains some typical data on electrical and electronic properties of graphite materials.

Values in the table below refer to room-temperature measurements. Values of electrical resistivity in brackets [···] are in μΩ inch units.


  1. M. S. Dresselhaus, G. Dresselhaus, and Ph. Avouris (Eds.), Carbon Nanotubes. Synthesis, Structure, Properties, and Applications, Springer-Verlag, 2001. []
  2. ESPI Metals Catalog, 2007.
  3. SPI Supplies Catalog, 2007.
  4. F. L. Vogel, J. Mater. Sci. 12, 982–986, 1977. []
  5. K. S. Novoselov et al., Nature 438, 197–200, 2005. []
  6. Y. Zhang et al., Nature 438, 201–204, 2005. []
  7. N. Tombros et al., Nature 448, 571–574, 2007. []
  8. H. Dai, in Ref. 1, pp. 29–53.
  9. CTI Carbon Nanotube Cat., 2007.
  10. L. Matija et al., Sci. Forum 413, 49–52, 2003. []

Electrical Resistivity and Other Properties of Graphite Materials

NameElectrical resistivity
ρ/mΩ cm
Energy gap
Electron mobility
μ/cm2 V-1 s-1
10–4 °C–1
Bulk graphite
Electromet graphite1.90 [750]e-52
Electro graphite1.60 [630]e-52
Aeromet graphite1.47 [580]e-52
ESPI Superconductive1.75 [690]e-52
Radioelectronics data30 [11,800]e-5.63
Highly ordered pyrolytic graphiteParallel 0.04 [15.7]e; across 150 [59000]e3
Single crystal graphite, normal to c-axis1·10-64
n-Graphene≈5 (М); ≈10 (Г)c1065,6
Carbon nanotubes
Metallic SWNT12 kΩa1
Semiconducting SWNT0.7 – 0.9b128d1
Carbon fullerenes
Fullerene (C60)10121.9510

  • aMinimum resistance of individual nanotubes (Ref. 8).
  • bEst. from Ref. 1, p. 47.
  • cEst. from Ref. 1, p. 116.
  • dEst. from Ref. 1, p. 179.
  • eValue brackets are in μΩ inch units.

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