Published In


Document Type


Publication Date



Granular electrification


Triboelectrification is the physical process where materials acquire surface charge from frictional interactions at their interfaces.The magnitude of charge depends on the interfacial material composition and can be harnessed in emergent technologies for energy generation.

The mechanism of electrostatic accumulation is complex and is further obscured in granular materials where collisions are sufficiently energetic to cause fracturing. In this “fractoelectric” regime, crack initiation and propagation are thought to charge particles through transfer of electrons and/or ions at the hot crack interface.

Whether a material’s charging is dominated by tribo- or fractoelectrification, fracture-generated granular flows often comprise particles whose surface charge density may exceed the theoretical maximum value of 27 μC per meter squared or charge-to-mass ratios in the range of 0.1–100 nC per gram.

There remains fundamental interest in studying the mechanism and magnitude of charging and methods to control the process, in particular to mitigate spurious effects such as electrostatic discharges and agglomeration within industrial settings.


Copyright (c) 2024 The Authors

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Persistent Identifier