Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to determine fractal surface dimensions of sputter deposited niobium pentoxide films. Peak currents were determined by CV measurements. Power spectral densities obtained from AFM measurements of the films were used for calculating length scale dependent root mean square roughness. In order to compare the effect of Li and H ion intercalation at the fractal surfaces, LiClO4 based as well as propionic acid electrolytes were used. The CV measurements gave a fractal dimension of 2.36 when the films were intercalated by Li ions and 1.70 when the films were intercalated by protons. AFM measurements showed that the former value corresponds to the fractal surface roughness of the films, while the latter value is close to the dimensionality of the distribution of hillocks on the surface. We conclude that the protons are preferentially intercalated at such sites. (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics.