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J Am Chem Soc. 2018 Nov 7;140(44):14687-14695. doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b07297. Epub 2018 Oct 29.

Can Static Electricity on a Conductor Drive a Redox Reaction: Contact Electrification of Au by Polydimethylsiloxane, Charge Inversion in Water, and Redox Reaction.

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Department of Chemistry , Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology , Daejeon 34141 , Korea.
Department of Physics , Pukyong National University , Busan 48513 , Korea.
Department of Advanced Materials Chemistry , Korea University , Sejong 30019 , Korea.


We investigated the static charge generation by contact electrification between Au and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and the redox reaction by the static charge in the aqueous phase, to reveal the mechanism of contact electrification and redox reaction which may be applied to mechanical-to-chemical energy harvesting. First, the static charge distribution on the equipotential Au was probed through Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) in air after the contact with patterned PDMS. Positive charges are localized on the contact areas indicating the ion migration while the polarity becomes negative after water contact. Second, the redox reaction by the charged Au was electrochemically monitored using open circuit potential (OCP), stripping voltammetry, and copper underpotential deposition (UPD). All electrochemical experiments consistently resulted in the reduction of the reactant by the charged Au within the highly dielectric water media. We concluded that the reduction is not driven by the discharge of static charge on Au but by reducing radicals.


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