Frictional electricity is created when two compatible bodies rub against
one another and electrons move from one body to the other. The body that
loses electrons develops a positive charge, whereas the body that gains
electrons develops a negative charge.
The different electron affinities of the materials cause the triboelectric
effect to occur. While some substances have a propensity to lose electrons
more quickly than others, some substances tend to have a stronger affinity
for electrons. Positive and negative charges can accumulate on the surfaces
of these materials when they are rubbed together because the atoms in one
material can transfer electrons to the atoms in the other material.
Example: when you rub a balloon against your hair, electrons go from your
hair to the balloon due to the friction. As a result, your hair becomes
positively charged (electron shortage) while the balloon acquires a negative
charge (excess of electrons). Your hair may stand up or adhere to the
balloon due to the charge imbalance that results in an electrostatic
attraction between them.
There are numerous practical uses for triboelectricity. As an example, it
is applied in various gadgets to produce energy from vibrations or
mechanical action. Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are made to use the
triboelectric effect to transform mechanical energy into electrical energy.
They have potential uses in wearable electronics, self-powered sensors, and
energy harvesting systems since they can gather ambient energy sources
including human movement, wind, or water flow.
Triboelectricity, also known as human friction electricity, is an
intriguing phenomena that shows how friction between materials can result in
the creation of an electric charge.