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What types of materials can be electrically charged by rubbing? Is there a certain type of materials in which static electricity can be produced by rubbing together two different materials?

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What about insulators (some metals maybe)..? –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut May 5 '13 at 11:53
    
Related to previous question: physics.stackexchange.com/q/63215/11062 –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut May 5 '13 at 11:57

3 Answers 3

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There are many materials that can be charged by triboelectric effect. Tipicaly you can observe this effect rubbing a material like wool and amber.

The phenomenon is quite complex but it's in great part because the different electron affinity of the materials (one loses easily an electron and the other captures an electron).

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not all materials can be electrically charged? –  Samama Fahim May 5 '13 at 12:05
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Conductor materials won't be charged this way because the charges will distribute in a way that the electric potential is the same, so there will be no local excess of charge. You can search for "triboelectric series", that indicates materials that easily adquire static electricity. –  jinawee May 5 '13 at 12:14

Materials having low work functions.

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While probably correct, it would be nice to include what a "work function" is, and why it being low leads to the material being charged by rubbing. –  ACuriousMind Apr 9 at 13:38
    
This is too short to really be a helpful answer. –  Sean Apr 9 at 13:38

insulators because they make a heat which turns into electricity by rubbing together.

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protected by ACuriousMind Apr 9 at 17:55

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