Understanding electrification is particularly important in materials science since the use of charged particles, e.g., the electrophotographic printer with toner particles, is one of the most successful applications of electrification. However, the charge generation mechanism still remains unclear due to the lack of an appropriate method for evaluating individual fine particles. In this study, we describe an approach for determining the charge of a single toner particle that uses electron holography in combination with a shielding technique. Two long-standing problems in holographic studies-namely, perturbation of the reference electron wave and unwanted charging by illumination-have been overcome by introducing two types of shields in a microscope. Using this method, the amount of charge on a single toner particle was determined, and the surface charge distribution was found to be inhomogeneous. Furthermore, an in situ observation of triboelectricity was conducted inside the microscope.
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