Matching the impedance of ionic polymer metal composites for energy harvesting

Youngsu Cha, Hubert Kim, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


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
Article number127002
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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