Matching the impedance of ionic polymer metal composites for energy harvesting

Youngsu Cha, Hubert Kim, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this note, we investigate the possibility of matching the impedance of ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) to enhance energy harvesting from bending deformations. We focus on underwater quasi-static post-buckling of patterned IPMCs for different excitation frequencies. We consider a total of 14 samples with a single or two secondary plating layers to garner statistical evidence in favor of impedance matching, for a wide range of IPMC electrical properties. Impedance matching is compared to the classical use of optimized resistive loads. The shunting impedances are designed on the basis of an experimentally-validated physics-based model of IPMC chemo-electro-mechanical behavior. Our results demonstrate that impedance matching significantly benefits IPMC energy harvesting, with the surface resistance playing a key role on the extent of such improvement. Specifically, we find that samples with highly conductive electrodes tend to display a lower equivalent resistance and thus benefit the most from impedance matching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127002
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Warburg impedance
  • energy harvesting
  • impedance matching
  • ionic polymer metal composites
  • synthetic inductor

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 'Matching the impedance of ionic polymer metal composites for energy harvesting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this