Collisional Contact Charging in Granular Materials

Published on: 04 January 2021

The Editors of Granular Matter are pleased to announce the second in the new Granular Matter Webinar Series

Tuesday 5 January, 13.00 EU time

Collisional Contact Charging in Granular Materials” 
by: Prof. Heinrich M. Jaeger, The University of Chicago

Collisional contact charging of sub-millimeter particles and the resulting clustering is important in circumstances ranging from the earliest stages of planet formation to aggregation of airborne pollutants to industrial powder processing. Even in systems comprised of grains of identical dielectric material, contact charging can generate large amounts of net positive or negative charge on individual particles, resulting in long-range electrostatic forces. Remarkably, rather fundamental aspects of contact charging, such as the type of the charge carriers or the nature of the charge transfer mechanism are still under debate. This webinar focuses on recent work where collision events between individual particles are tracked with high-speed video and the charge on single particles can be extracted. In freely falling granular streams we observe collide-and-capture events between charged particles and particle-by-particle aggregation into clusters. Size-dependent contact charging is found to produce a variety of charge-stabilized “granular molecules”, whose configurations can be modeled by taking many-body dielectric polarization effects into account. I will also introduce a new approach, based on ultrasonic levitation, for studying contact charging where the very same particles can be forced to undergo multiple head-on collisions. This method allows for measurements under a wide range of environmental conditions as well as applying an electric field, and its exquisite sensitivity makes it possible to determine the net charge transferred in a single contact event.
Below, please find the links to the webinar itself, and an update page advertising it.