Understanding contact electrification at liquid–solid interfaces from surface electronic structure

Mingzi Sun, Qiuyang Lu, Zhong Lin Wang (Corresponding Author), Bolong Huang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The charge transfer phenomenon of contact electrification even exists in the liquid–solid interface by a tiny droplet on the solid surface. In this work, we have investigated the contact electrification mechanism at the liquid–solid interface from the electronic structures at the atomic level. The electronic structures display stronger modulations by the outmost shell charge transfer via surface electrostatic charge perturbation than the inter-bonding-orbital charge transfer at the liquid–solid interface, supporting more factors being involved in charge transfer via contact electrification. Meanwhile, we introduce the electrochemical cell model to quantify the charge transfer based on the pinning factor to linearly correlate the charge transfer and the electronic structures. The pinning factor exhibits a more direct visualization of the charge transfer at the liquid–solid interface. This work supplies critical guidance for describing, quantifying, and modulating the contact electrification induced charge transfer systems in triboelectric nanogenerators in future works.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1752
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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