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What is the basis for classifying a material as a conductor, semiconductor, or a dielectric? Define what is the conductivity of perfect dielectric?

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Conductors possess high conductivity whereas the characteristic property of insulating materials (or dielectrics) is poor conductivity. Semiconductors occupy an intermediate position between conductors and insulators. Though there is no rigid line separating the conductors from semiconductors and semiconductors from insulators, but still according to resistivity the materials of resistivity of the order from 10-8 to 10-3 , 10-13 to 106 and 106 to 1018 ohm-meters may be classified as conductors, semiconductors and dielectrics respectively.

Another classification is based on temperature coefficient of resistivity. Metals have positive temperature coefficient of resistivity. Semiconductors have small negative temperature coefficient of resistivity and insulators have large negative temperature coefficient of resistivity.

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