Direct observation of particle interactions and clustering in charged granular streams

V. Lee, S.R. Waitukaitis, M. Miskin, H. Jaeger, Nature Physics 11 (2015) 733–737.

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Journal Article | Published | English
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Abstract
Clustering of fine particles is of crucial importance in settings ranging from the early stages of planet formation to the coagulation of industrial powders and airborne pollutants. Models of such clustering typically focus on inelastic deformation and cohesion. However, even in charge-neutral particle systems comprising grains of the same dielectric material, tribocharging can generate large amounts of net positive or negative charge on individual particles, resulting in long-range electrostatic forces. The effects of such forces on cluster formation are not well understood and have so far not been studied in situ. Here we report the first observations of individual collide-and-capture events between charged submillimetre particles, including Kepler-like orbits. Charged particles can become trapped in their mutual electrostatic energy well and aggregate via multiple bounces. This enables the initiation of clustering at relative velocities much larger than the upper limit for sticking after a head-on collision, a long-standing issue known from pre-planetary dust aggregation. Moreover, Coulomb interactions together with dielectric polarization are found to stabilize characteristic molecule-like configurations, providing new insights for the modelling of clustering dynamics in a wide range of microscopic dielectric systems, such as charged polarizable ions, biomolecules and colloids.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2015-07-13
Journal Title
Nature Physics
Acknowledgement
This research was supported by NSF through DMR-1309611. The Chicago MRSEC, supported by NSF DMR-1420709, is gratefully acknowledged for access to its shared experimental facilities.
Volume
11
Issue
9
Page
733 - 737
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Lee V, Waitukaitis SR, Miskin M, Jaeger H. Direct observation of particle interactions and clustering in charged granular streams. Nature Physics. 2015;11(9):733-737. doi:10.1038/nphys3396
Lee, V., Waitukaitis, S. R., Miskin, M., & Jaeger, H. (2015). Direct observation of particle interactions and clustering in charged granular streams. Nature Physics, 11(9), 733–737. https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys3396
Lee, Victor, Scott R Waitukaitis, Marc Miskin, and Heinrich Jaeger. “Direct Observation of Particle Interactions and Clustering in Charged Granular Streams.” Nature Physics 11, no. 9 (2015): 733–37. https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys3396.
V. Lee, S. R. Waitukaitis, M. Miskin, and H. Jaeger, “Direct observation of particle interactions and clustering in charged granular streams,” Nature Physics, vol. 11, no. 9, pp. 733–737, 2015.
Lee V, Waitukaitis SR, Miskin M, Jaeger H. 2015. Direct observation of particle interactions and clustering in charged granular streams. Nature Physics. 11(9), 733–737.
Lee, Victor, et al. “Direct Observation of Particle Interactions and Clustering in Charged Granular Streams.” Nature Physics, vol. 11, no. 9, Nature Publishing Group, 2015, pp. 733–37, doi:10.1038/nphys3396.

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