Contact electrification between identical materials

Mario M. Apodaca, Paul J. Wesson, Kyle J.M. Bishop, Mark A. Ratner, Bartosz A. Grzybowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Ch-ch-ch-charges: Pieces of identical, atomically flat insulators separate a charge Q when brought into contact and then parted. Repeated contacts cause the magnitudes of the separated charges to increase monotonically (see picture). A theoretical model is presented that explains these phenomena by the inherent, molecular-scale fluctuations in the composition of the seemingly identical contacting surfaces. Figure Presented

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-949
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 25 2010


  • Charge transfer
  • Contact electrification
  • Electrostatics
  • Materials science
  • Surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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