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Advances in Mathematical Physics
Volume 2013, Article ID 953695, 10 pages
Research Article

Experimental Characterization of Ionic Polymer Metal Composite as a Novel Fractional Order Element

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica, Elettronica ed Informatica, Università degli Studi di Catania, V. le A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy

Received 17 May 2013; Accepted 9 June 2013

Academic Editor: Dumitru Baleanu

Copyright © 2013 Riccardo Caponetto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) are electroactive materials made of ionic polymer thin membranes with platinum metallization on their surfaces. They are interesting materials due to not only their electromechanical applications as transducers but also to their electrochemical features and the relationship between the ionic/solvent current and the potential field. Their electrochemical properties thus suggest the possibility for exploiting them as compact fractional-order elements (FOEs) with a view of defining fabrication processes and production strategies that assure the desired performances. In this paper, the experimental electrical characterization of a brand new IPMC setup in a fixed sandwich configuration is proposed. Two IPMC devices with different platinum absorption times (5 h and 20 h) are characterized through experimental data: first, a preliminary linearity study is performed for a fixed input voltage amplitude in order to determine the frequency region where IPMC can be approximated as linear; then, a frequency analysis is carried out in order to identify a coherent fractional-order dynamics in the bode diagrams. Such analyses take the first steps towards a simplified model of IPMC as a compact electronic FOE for which the fractional exponent value depends on fabrication parameters as the absorption time.