Living Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

pp 1-30

Date: Latest Version

Characterization of Electrical Properties

  • Jörg PützAffiliated withCarl Zeiss Smart Optics GmbH Email author 
  • , Sabine HeusingAffiliated withCampus D2 2, INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials
  • , Michel A. AegerterAffiliated with


Materials with advanced electrical properties are in great demand for the realization of the manifold products of information technology. Examples for such materials are transparent conductive coatings for touch screens or flat-panel displays, superconductors for high-frequency applications, or semiconducting sensor materials for gas detection systems. This chapter describes the most commonly used techniques for the electrical characterization of sol–gel materials. In the first section “Electrical Conductivity,” a short introduction into the terminology is given, and the fundamental techniques for resistance measurement are described. For characterization of semiconductors, not only the resistivity but also the charge carrier density and mobility and in addition the type of charge carriers (electrons or holes) are of great interest and can be determined by measurement of the Hall effect, which is explained in the second section on “Hall Effect Measurements.” Frequency-dependent electrical properties of materials and interfaces can be investigated by impedance spectroscopy and are covered in the section “Impedance Spectroscopy.” The work function is of high interest especially for materials used in displays and solar cells and can be studied by Kelvin probe, which is explained in the last section on “Work Function and Surface Potential (Kelvin Probe),” followed by a conclusion.