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Surface Contamination and Contact Electrification

  • K. P. Homewood

Abstract

When two materials are touched together and then separated, we find, in general, that charge has transferred between them. This phenomenon is known as contact electrification or contact charging. It is most apparent when one or both of the contacting materials is an insulator, because of the ability of an insulator to retain charge. Contact charging is one of the oldest studied phenomena in physics but is still incompletely understood. Despite this, considerable use is made of these effects in industrial processes. It is the basis of xerography, electrostatic precipitators, electrostatic paint and crop spraying, and ink jet printing and is made use of in a wide variety of other applications. Contact charging can also be a considerable nuisance, causing irritating electric shocks in the home and office environment. Many semiconductor devices are highly susceptible to damage from acquired static charges. The buildup of static charges and their subsequent discharge can be extremely hazardous in flammable and explosive environments.

Keywords

Work Function Contact Electrification Static Electrification Metal Cone Metal Sphere 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. P. Homewood
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Joint Laboratory of Physics and Electrical EngineeringUniversity of Manchester Institute of Science and TechnologyManchester 1UK
  2. 2.Department of Electronic and Electrical EngineeringUniversity of SurreyGuildford, SurreyUK

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