Effect of electrode surface roughness on the electrical impedance of ionic polymer-metal composites

Matteo Aureli, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we study the effect of electrode surface roughness on the electrochemical response of ionic polymermetal composites (IPMCs) subjected to a time-varying voltage input. We use the linearized PoissonNernstPlanck model to describe the dynamics of the electric potential and mobile counterions concentration within the polymer. We derive a closed form solution of the three-dimensional boundary value problem by employing the method of matched asymptotic expansions. Specifically, the polymer region is decomposed into a bulk region, where mainly diffusive phenomena take place, and boundary layers in proximity of the polymerelectrode interfaces, where charge storage develops as a function of the electrode surface roughness. Leading order solutions are derived and matched on account of electric potential, counterions concentration, and counterions flux continuity. We find that IPMC charge storage is greatly enhanced by the increase in effective electrode surface area. On the other hand, bulk diffusion phenomena remain largely independent of the microscopic topography of the electrode. Thus, the hypothesis of rough electrodes is found to be very well suited in interpreting the anomalous values of IPMC capacitance which scales linearly with the electrodes actual surface area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105030
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of electrode surface roughness on the electrical impedance of ionic polymer-metal composites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this