Electrode polarization is an ubiquitous yet often undesired process in electrolytic cells with blocking electrodes.

Under the influence of externally applied electric fields mobile charge carriers drift towards the electrodes of opposing sign. When the vicinity of the interface is reached, the charge carriers start accumulating and form an electric double layer. Depending on the ion drift velocity and the frequency of the driving field this double layer is periodically charged or decharged. A visualization of this process can be found in the short video snippet on the left, where red and blue dots represent charge carriers of opposing sign.



The presence of charge carriers affects the electro-optic properties of the host – An effect clearly visible in the dielectric spectrum

The drift of charge carriers and their accumulation at the interfaces influences the electro-optic response of the liquid crystalline host. It is therefore highly relevant for the performance of LC displays and other electro-optic applications. As nanoparticle doping is a very promising way to imrpove the switching characteristics of LCDs in the future, their impact on the conductivity of the LC host and on the formation of electrode polarization has barely been studied. DISGONA aims to close this gap and provide detailed studies about nanoparticles as sources for ionic impurities or scavengers thereof.
The main results will be published here soon!