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Study of Contact Electrification at Liquid-Gas Interface

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posted on 2021-10-22, 16:53 authored by Fan Wang, Peng Yang, Xinglin Tao, Yuxiang Shi, Shuyao Li, Zhaoqi Liu, Xiangyu Chen, Zhong Lin Wang
It is known that the suspended liquid droplets in clouds can generate electrostatic charges, which finally results in the lightning. However, the detailed mechanism related to the contact-electrification process on the liquid-gas (L-G) interfaces is still poorly understood. Here, by introducing an acoustic levitation method for levitating a liquid droplet, we have studied the electrification mechanism at the L-G interface. The tribo-motion between water droplets and air induced by the ultrasound wave leads to the generation of positive charges on the surface of the droplets, and the charge amount of water droplets (20 μL) gradually reaches saturation within 30 s. The mixed solid particles in droplets can increase the amount of transferred charge, whereas the increase of ion concentration in the droplet can suppress the charge generation. This charge transfer phenomenon at L-G interfaces and the related analysis can be a guidance for the study in many fields, including anti-static, harvesting rainy energy, micro/nano fluidics, triboelectric power generator, surface engineering, and so on. Moreover, the surface charge generation due to L-G electrification is an inevitable effect during ultrasonic levitation, and thus, this study can also work for the applications of the ultrasonic technique.

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