Non-linear Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (NLEIS)

A Diagnostic Technique for Batteries and Fuel Cells

Principal Investigator: Stuart Adler

Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of batteries and fuel cells is a key method for extending life, maximizing performance, and increasing return on investment. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is an NDE method that uses alternating current (AC) to measure first order harmonic responses of these electrochemical systems as a function of frequency. However, many different physicochemical processes may be conflated in the first order harmonic response, and methods capable of separating these processes could enable improved control over degradation pathways.

Nonlinear electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (NLEIS) extracts information on different electrochemical processes by probing higher order harmonics at a range of electrical frequencies and amplitudes. Simultaneous acquisition of multiple harmonics means multiple processes can be detected and deconvoluted at the same time. Nonlinear and time domain effects can be identified, which is difficult with linear EIS. Combining NLEIS data with detailed physical models can give a real-time understanding of what physicochemical processes are occurring in the battery or fuel cell during normal operation. 

Market opportunities include design and development of batteries and fuel cells; enhanced arbitrage for power installations; corrosion and lifetime monitoring; and on-demand maintenance of systems for reduced operating costs.


• Batteries, including Li ion and flow cell 

• Fuel cells, including PEMFC and SOFC

• Electrochemical plating and corrosion detection 


• Detection and deconvolution of multiple physicochemical processes 

• Acquisition of time domain and nonlinear response data 

• Simultaneous acquisition of multiple harmonic responses

For more info, contact: Forest Bohrer

  • swap_vertical_circlelibrary_booksReferences (1)
    1. J.R. Wilson, D.T. Schwartz, S.B. Adler (January 20, 2006), Nonlinear electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for solid oxide fuel cell cathode materials, Electrochimica Acta, 51, 1389 - 1402
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