EventNaveed UI Mustafa

Light Controlled Static Charging and Static Charge Controlled Friction

The mechanism of generation of static electricity on insulator surfaces upon rubbing/contact is one of the few scientific questions that remain unanswered for millennia. Static charging (tribocharging) of insulators is a not just a scientific mystery – it is also significant problem, especially critical for various industries; e.g. polymer, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and space. Several methods of tribocharge mitigation exist in practice; however, none can reach the practicality of using light in the process. Here I will present, a light-controlled manipulation of triboelectric charges on common polymers, in which the tribocharges are mitigated upon illumination with appropriate wavelengths of light in presence of a mediator organic dye. Our method provides spatial and temporal control on mitigation of static charges on common polymer surfaces, by a mechanism that involves photoexcitation of organic dyes – which also allows an additional ‘wavelength control’. This control over charge mitigation also provides a way to manipulate macroscopic objects by tribocharging followed by light-controlled discharging. In the second part of the talk, I will display how to control friction – the primary phenomenon, which causes energy consumption and wear in all machines with moving parts – between polymer contacts, by eliminating static charges on the polymer surfaces.