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 journalArticle

100 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Pages (from-to)946-949
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 25 2010



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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Catalysis

Cite this

Apodaca, M. M., Wesson, P. J., Bishop, K. J. M., Ratner, M. A., & Grzybowski, B. A. (2010). Contact electrification between identical materials. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 49(5), 946-949.