Nonlinear potential field in contact electrification

BJ Kulbago and J Chen, JOURNAL OF ELECTROSTATICS, 108, 103511 (2020).

DOI: 10.1016/j.elstat.2020.103511

The cause of electron transfer in contact electrification is one of the most hotly debated physical problems today. In this study, the electron transfer is hypothesized to be partly driven by the surface dipole induced potential during contact. This phenomena is demonstrated by a combination of atomistic field theory (AFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. A representative contact system of carbon and silicon dioxide was chosen for its excellent tribo-tunneling power output performance. The results reveal the existence of a nonlinear potential field as well as the existence of a separation dependent potential barrier at the contact interface. Possible scenarios of triboelectric charge transfer are discussed in light of these results. These results are critical to the fundamental understanding of contact electrification.

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