Ionic conduction and electrode polarization in a doped nonpolar liquid

Junhyung Kim, John L. Anderson, Stephen Garoff, Luc J.M. Schlangen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Electrical current versus potential relationships were measured for solutions of dodecane containing the charge control agent poly(isobutylene succinimide) (PIBS) at various concentrations. Both one-dimensional (parallel planar electrodes) and two-dimensional (strip electrodes) fields were studied. The initial current was proportional to the applied voltage for both electrode configurations. Using the initial decay rate of the current (t < 0.5 s) in the planar electrode cell and the Gouy-Chapman model for electrode polarization, we determined the diffusion coefficient of the charge carriers (micelles) in the solution, from which we calculated their effective radius to be 10 nm. The constancy of the carrier radius over a 7-fold change in PIBS concentration, along with the proportionality between conductivity and concentration, supports the hypothesis that the charged species result from the interactions between two micelles. The experimentally determined geometric factor (cell constant) relating current to applied potential at time zero for the strip electrode cell agrees with the value predicted from the solution of Laplace's equation for the electrical potential in this system. The intermediate-time (0.5-3.0 s) decay rate of current was faster than predicted from the classical Gouy-Chapman theory of the double layer, possibly because of volume fraction effects in the double layer. The very long-time (minutes to hours) residual current that we observed is not explained, but we suspect that some charge transfer across the electrode must have occurred because there was insufficient ion capacity (i.e., amount of PIBS) in the solution to account for the total charge transferred through the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8620-8629
Number of pages10
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


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