The temperatureT dependencies ρ(T) of normal state electric resistivitiesρ
c (axial) andρ
ab (in plane) of single-layer high-T
c superconductors show common trends: AsT is raised, the resistivity first drops steeply before it starts rising αT above an apparent semiconductor-to-metal crossoverT
cross. To analyze ρ(T) we plottT/ρ againstT at various dopingsx for bothρ
ab.T/ρ is inversely proportional to the traversal time across a potential barrier as an ionic particle drifts in an electric field. We findT/ρ in good agreement with theT dependence of the quantum rate of migrating particles: AsT is raised, a zero-point rate at the lowestT is extended to a nearly flat plateau before a thermally activated branch sets in. We also find evidence for the admixture of 1- & 2-phonon absorptions below the Arrhenius range. These features shape the semiconductor-like branch below Tcross. AboveT
cross a metallic-like branch sets in, its αT character deriving from the field coupling of the migrating particle. Our analysis suggests that metal physics may not suffice if ionic features play a role in transport. We attribute our conclusions to the drift of strong-coupling polarons along Cu−O bonds. These “bond polarons” originate from carrier scattering by double-well potentials associated with the bonds. A bond polaron dissociates to a free hole as it passes onto a neighboring O-O link.