Electrons Move Through Rust with Semiconduction
Rust — iron oxide — is a poor conductor of electricity, which is why an electronic device with a rusted battery usually won’t work. But electrons do move through iron oxide — on seemingly geologic timescales. Now, scientists explain how electrons do this and provide the strongest evidence yet for the leading theory of such movement, a type of semiconduction. Published in Science, the work forms a new foundation for understanding how iron oxide cycles through the earth.
Most iron oxide is in the form of rocks and minerals. Rocks grow and disintegrate via electrons, which control whether passing iron atoms stick and build up the surface or internal ones fall off and break the surface down. What happens depends in part on how fast electrons move through the minerals, something scientists haven’t really been able to measure because iron oxide is not a good electrical conductor — extra electrons are tightly trapped in the solid, hardly allowed to move.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/electrons-move-through-rust-semiconduction