Volume 83, Number 2, July 2008
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics|
|Published online||09 July 2008|
Spontaneous tribocharging of similar materials
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University - Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
2 Institut für Baustoffe, ETH-Zürich - Schafmattstrasse 6, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
3 Department of Physics, Gakushuin University - Mejiro 1-5-1, Tokyo, 171-8588, Japan
4 Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University - Princeton, NJ, USA
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 6 June 2008
We investigate the spontaneous triboelectrification of similar materials. This effect, first reported in 1927, has been little studied but is easily reproduced. We find in two separate experimental systems, where materials are prepared in the same way and rubbed symmetrically, that symmetry breaking occurs so that one material becomes positive and the other negative. Curiously, the distribution of charges on the materials appears to be self-similar, with different charge patterns on the positive and the negative surface. We propose a mechanism in which an initial localized charge may spawn the production of smaller localized charges of the same polarity.
PACS: 45.70.Mg – Granular flow: mixing, segregation and stratification / 05.45.Df – Fractals / 65.40.gp – Surface energy
© EPLA, 2008
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