Expert Series

What is Impedance and Dielectric Spectroscopy? (Intro)

Rosario A. Gerhardt


In this tutorial, the technique of impedance and dielectric spectroscopy will be described in the simplest possible terms. It will begin by describing the expected responses for the real and imaginary impedance of a wide range of material and device types. Then the conversion to three other formalisms known as admittance, electric modulus and permittivity will be used to demonstrate the detailed information that is often hidden inside of the partially analyzed data. Examples will be provided that will help not only understand the physical processes that are happening inside of the material/device but also develop an understanding of how to control the outcome. Examples ranging from materials used in insulating layers in integrated circuits and packaging materials to highly conducting materials used in solar cells and batteries will be provided. It will be shown that it is possible to relate the spectra obtained to the presence of certain key responses: charge storage, electronic conduction, surface adsorption, switching phenomena and many others. Complementary techniques that are used to corroborate the physical assignments will also be included. The tutorial will end with examples that demonstrate that this technique is exceptionally good for establishing quality control in a production environment and/or  to assess service life of electronic and non-electronic components in a non-destructive way.

Keywords: dielectric spectroscopy, impedance, ieee, ims, tutorials, education, rosario gerhardt

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Rosario A. Gerhardt

Georgia Institute of Technology
United States