The term electrical breakdown or electric breakdown has several similar but distinctly different meanings. For example, the term can apply to the failure of an electric circuit. Alternatively, it may refer to a rapid reduction in the resistance of an electrical insulator that can lead to aspark jumping around or through the insulator. This may be a momentary event (as in an electrostatic discharge), or may lead to a continuousarc discharge if protective devices fail to interrupt the current in a high power circuit.
There is currently much interest in its use as a semiconductor material in electronics, where its high thermal conductivity, high electric field breakdown strength and high maximum current density make it more promising than silicon for high-powered devices