Energy harvesting from base excitation of ionic polymer metal composites in fluid environments

Matteo Aureli, Chekema Prince, Maurizio Porfiri, Sean D. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we analytically and experimentally study the energy harvesting capability of submerged ionic polymer metal composites(IPMCs). We consider base excitation of an IPMC strip that is shunted with an electric impedance and immersed in a fluid environment. We develop a modeling framework to predict the energy scavenged from the IPMC vibration as a function of the excitation frequency range, the constitutive and geometric properties of the IPMC, and the electric shunting load. The mechanical vibration of the IPMC strip is modeled through Kirchhoff-Love plate theory. The effect of the encompassing fluid on the IPMC vibration is described by using a linearized solution of the Navier-Stokes equations, that is traditionally considered in modeling atomic force microscope cantilevers. The dynamic chemo-electric response of the IPMC is described through the Poisson-Nernst-Planck model, in which the effect of mechanical deformations of the backbone polymer is accounted for. We present a closed-form solution for the current flowing through the IPMC strip as a function of the voltage across its electrodes and its deformation. We use modal analysis to establish a handleable expression for the power harvested from the vibrating IPMC and to optimize the shunting impedance for maximum energy harvesting. We validate theoretical findings through experiments conducted on IPMC strips vibrating in aqueous environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number015003
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

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


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