A theoretical framework for the study of compression sensing in ionic polymer metal composites

Valentina Volpini, Lorenzo Bardella, Andrea Rodella, Youngsu Cha, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Ionic Polymer Metal Composites (IPMCs) are electro-responsive materials for sensing and actuation, consisting of an ion-exchange polymeric membrane with ionized units, plated within noble metal electrodes. In this work, we investigate the sensing response of IPMCs that are subject to a through-the-thickness compression, by specializing the continuum model introduced by Cha and Porfiri,1 to this one-dimensional problem. This model modifies the classical Poisson-Nernst-Plank system governing the electrochemistry in the absence of mechanical effects, by accounting for finite deformations underlying the actuation and sensing processes. With the aim of accurately describing the IPMC dynamic compressive behavior, we introduce a spatial asymmetry in the properties of the membrane, which must be accounted for to trigger a sensing response. Then, we determine an analytical solution by applying the singular perturbation theory, and in particular the method of matched asymptotic expansions. This solution shows a good agreement with experimental findings reported in literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017
EditorsYoseph Bar-Cohen
ISBN (Electronic)9781510608115
StatePublished - 2017
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017 - Portland, United States
Duration: Mar 26 2017Mar 29 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Ionic polymer metal composites
  • electrochemistry
  • finite deformations
  • matched asymptotic ex-pansions
  • multiphysics
  • sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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