Triboelectrification of houseflies (Musca domestica L.) walking on synthetic dielectric surfaces

McGonigle, D.F., Jackson, C.W. and Davidson, J (2002) Triboelectrification of houseflies (Musca domestica L.) walking on synthetic dielectric surfaces. Journal of Electrostatics, 54, (2), 167-177. (doi:10.1016/S0304-3886(01)00177-2).


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Houseflies (Musca domestica L.) have been found to accumulate significant electrostatic charges when walking on uncharged dielectric surfaces. The number of steps taken was found to determine the amount of charge transferred whereas time, on its own, did not play a significant role. After walking only a short distance, typically 30cm, flies reached saturation charge. The level of this varied according to the position of the surface in the triboelectric series relative to the fly. The rate of charging (pC/footstep) was directly proportional to the difference between the fly's charge and its saturation charge, hence the initial rate of charging for an uncharged fly was directly proportional to the saturation charge. A model has been fitted to the relationship between distance travelled (and hence the number of steps taken) with charge. The reciprocal charge left on the surface has been visualised using photocopier toner. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/S0304-3886(01)00177-2
ISSNs: 0304-3886 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Triboelectrification; Faraday pail; House fly; Insect charging; Bioelectrostatic
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Biological Sciences
ePrint ID: 26695
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
February 2002Published
30 March 2001Submitted
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:49

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