Towards identifying the charge carriers in tribocharging

Involved People: Markus Felber, Galien Grosjean, Scott Waitukaitis

If two materials make contact, they always exchange some charge. This effect is called tribocharging. Despite great scientific effort, many issues remain unanswered, first and foremost the identity of the charge carriers that drive the charge exchange. With this experiment we test the hypothesis that these are ions. To achieve this, we use a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) that is able to resolve single ionic charges. We charge our sample by bringing it into contact with another one. A Faraday cup is used to measure how much charge has been exchanged. After the contact, the primary sample faces the entrance of the QMS and we ramp up the sample temperature using a resistive heater. If the charge carriers are of ionic nature, we hope to measure desorbing ions from the surface with the QMS.