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# Skin Depth Equation Formula (aka Skin Effect)

## As frequencies increase, conduction begins to move from an

equal distribution through the conductor cross section toward eistence almost eclusivel!
near the surface" Depending on the conductor bulk resistivit! (#s), at sufficientl! high
frequenc! all the \$F current is flowing within a ver! small thickness at the surface"
Furthermore, the current concentrates nearest to the surface that abuts the highest relative
dielectric constant" %ower bulk resistivities result in shallower skin depths"
&n the case of a microstrip la!out (to the right), the current
concentrates nearest to the substrate dielectric material, although current does also
concentrate at the other surfaces as well (redder regions)" For a solid wire (to the left), the
current concentrates on the outer surface" For this reason, when skin depth is shallow, the
solid conductor can be replaced with a hollow tube with no perceivable loss of performance"
'hoice of a plating material can degrade performance (increase attenuation) if its bulk
resistivit! is greater than that of the copper"

(ost common conductors have a relative permeabilit! of ver! near ), so for copper,
aluminum, etc", a * value of +, )-
./
01m can safel! be assumed" (agnetic materials like
iron, cobalt, nickel, mumetals, and permallo! can have relative permeabilities of hundreds or
thousands"

2he equation for calculating the skin depth is given here3

where: = permeability (4* 10
-7
H/m), note: H = henries = *s
= pi

s
= s!in "epth (m)
# = resisti\$ity (*m)
% = ra"ian &re'(en)y = **& (H+)
, = )on"()ti\$ity (mho/m), note: mho - . = siemen -/.
Example: Copper @ 10 GHz (#
Cu
=1.69*10
-8
m)
Available bulk resistivit! values (4) and relative permeabilit! (5r)used to calculate skin depths
(#6) can var! considerabl! depending on the source" In fact, the values for permeabilities are
so far-ranging that I hesitated to even include any of them in the table. 2he ones used here
are t!pical, gathered from man! of the links listed at the bottom of the page" 2herefore, it is
incumbent upon the user to determine his own value based on a trusted source" Even
7&S2
)
and '\$'
8
do not full! agree on bulk resistivit! values for materials as well.known as
copper and aluminum" (ost common conductors used in cabling have a relative permeabilit!
of ver! near unit! ())"
Material
Chemical
Formula
Bulk
Resistivity
@20C
cm
(10
-8
m
Relative !ermea"ility #\$#0
%ki& 'e(th
(m@)
1
M*+
10
M*+
100
M*+
1
,*+
10
,*+
100
,*+
0l(min(m 0l *123 1 4115 *315 4115 *135 01415 01*35
6erylli(m 6e 717 1 5114 *415 5114 *145 01514 01*45
6rass 8(70/9n70 7 1 177 4*11 1717 41*1 1177 014*1
6ron+e 8(45//n11 13 1 153 2112 1513 2112 1153 01212
8arbon 8 (:raphite) 1773 1422 350 147 3510 1417 3150
8a"mi(m 8" 717 172 4710 1712 4170 1172 01470
8hromi(m 8r 171* 1 147 3714 1417 3174 1147 01374
8obalt 8o 2174 200 314 112 013* 0112 0103* 01012
8onstantan 8(20;i40 45 73* 111 731* 1111 713* 1111
8opper 8( 1125 1 2314 *017 2134 *107 01234 01*07
<(ral 0l53/8( 4/=: 1 3 11*134 7312 1117 7132 1117 01732
>alli(m >a 1313 154 2*17 1514 21*7 1154 012*7
>ol" 0( *1* 1 7417 *712 7147 *172 01747 01*72
>raphite 8 74717 1405 442 141 4412 1411 4142
?n)onel alloy 600 ;i7*/8r12/@e 4 107 1 311 12* 3111 121* 3111 112*
?n"i(m ?n 414 145 471* 1415 417* 1145 0147*
?ri"i(m ?r 311 114 7315 1114 7135 1114 01735
?ron @e 1011 300 71* *17 017* 01*7 0107* 010*7
Aea" Bb *012 1 **4 7*1* **14 71** *1*4 017**
Aithi(m Ai 51*5 137 4413 1317 4143 1137 01443
=a:nesi(m =: 41* 1 107 7*12 1017 71*2 1107 017*2
=er)(ry H: 5315 1 457 132 4517 1312 4157 1132
=olyb"en(m =o 317 1 1*0 7410 1*10 7140 11*0 01740
=onel alloy 400 ;i23/8(77/@e * 45 73* 111 731* 1111 713* 1111
m(-=etal 47 70,000 *10 0124 01*0 01024 010*0 010024
;i)!el ;i 215 *00 517 710 1057 0170 01057 01070
;i)hrome ;i40/8r*0 104 3*7 123 3*17 1213 31*7 1123
Balla"i(m B" 1014 1 123 3*17 1213 31*7 1123 013*7
Blatin(m Bt 10134 1 124 3114 1214 3114 1124 01314
Botassi(m C 214 171 4113 1711 4113 1171 01413
Dho"i(m Dh 417 1 105 7413 1015 7143 1105 01743
/il\$er 0: 1127 1 2417 *017 2147 *107 01247 01*07
/o"i(m ;a 415 111 731* 1111 713* 1111 0173*
/teel 100
Eantal(m Ea 1713 143 3413 1413 3143 1143 01343
2antalum 7itride Ea; *3* 755 *37 7515 *317 7155 *137
Ein (p(re) /n 1*12 1 175 3213 1715 3123 1175 01323
Eitani(m Ei 34 1 770 117 7710 1117 7170 1117
E(n:sten F 314 1 117 7710 1117 7170 1117 01770
Grnai(m G *7 *2* 4*17 *21* 41*7 *12* 014*7
Httri(m H 37 722 112 7212 1112 7122 1112
9in) 9n 3152 1*7 7415 1*17 7145 11*7 01745
9ir)oni(m 9r 44 774 102 7714 1012 7174 1102
)3 7ational &nstitute of Standards and 2echnolog!
83 'hemical \$ubber 'orporation