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Dielectric spectroscopy


Dielectric spectroscopy (sometimes called impedance spectroscopy) measures the dielectric properties of a medium as a function of frequency.[1][2][3][4] It is based on the interaction of an external field with the electric dipole moment of the sample, often expressed by permittivity.


Dielectric mechanisms

There are a number of different dielectric mechanisms, connected to the way a studied medium reacts to the applied field (see the figure illustration). Each dielectric mechanism is centered around its characteristic frequency, which is the reciprocal of the characteristic time of the process. In general, dielectric mechanisms can be divided into relaxation and resonance processes. The most common, starting from high frequencies, are:

Electronic polarization

This resonant process occurs in a neutral atom when the electric field displaces the electron density relative to the nucleus it surrounds.

This displacement occurs due to the equilibrium between restoration and electric forces.

Atomic polarization

Atomic polarization is observed when the electronic cloud is deformed under the force of the applied field, so that the negative and positive charge are formed. This is a resonant process.

Dipole relaxation

This originates from permanent and induced dipoles aligning to an electric field. Their orientation polarisation is disturbed by thermal noise (which mis-aligns the dipole vectors from the direction of the field), and the time needed for dipoles to relax is determined by the local viscosity. These two facts make dipole relaxation heavily dependent on temperature and chemical surrounding.

Ionic relaxation

Ionic relaxation comprises ionic conductivity and interfacial and space charge relaxation. Ionic conductivity predominates at low frequencies and introduces only losses to the system. Interfacial relaxation occurs when charge carriers are trapped at interfaces of heterogeneous systems.

Dielectric relaxation

Dielectric relaxation as a whole is the result of the movement of dipoles (dipole relaxation) and electric charges (ionic relaxation) due to an applied alternating field, and is usually observed in the frequency range 10²-1010 Hz. Relaxation mechanisms are relatively slow compared to resonant electronic transitions or molecular vibrations, which usually have frequencies above 1012 Hz.


  1. ^ Kremer F., Schonhals A., Luck W. Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy. – Springer-Verlag, 2002.
  2. ^ Sidorovich A. M., Dielectric Spectrum of Water. – Ukrainian Physical Journal, 1984, vol. 29, No 8, p. 1175-1181 (In Russian).
  3. ^ Hippel A. R. Dielectrics and Waves. – N. Y.: John Willey & Sons, 1954.
  4. ^ Volkov A. A., Prokhorov A. S., Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy of Solids. – Radiophysics and Quantum Electronics, 2003, vol. 46, Issue 8, p. 657–665.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dielectric_spectroscopy". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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