In this study, we demonstrate electrical equivalent circuits that model the complex frequency-dependent impedance of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate (EMI-Tf) containing electro-active polymer membranes and ionic polymer conductor network composite (IPCNC) devices. The devices include Nation membrane actuators, Nafion coated with layer-by-layer (LbL) Au nanoparticle/poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) composite actuators, and Nafion with vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VA-CNT)/Nafion composite actuators. It is found that the low frequency responses of these devices indicate Warburg diffusion. Therefore, Warburg impedance is utilized to model the low frequency diffusion behavior of the devices, while the electric double layer capacitance (C-dl) represents the storage of drifting ions under electric field at high frequencies. It is found that C-dl for Nation with 40 wt% EMI-Tf is 7.5 mu F/cm(2) and increases to 11.4 mu F/cm(2) with increasing surface area of the LbL composite electrode. C-dl increases further to above 3 x 10(3) mu F/cm(2) for an actuator with 12 mu m VA-CNT/Nafion composite electrodes, while the Warburg coefficient A(W) remains nearly the same for all the devices. As a result, the actuation magnitude and speed increase with charges accumulated due to higher C-dl, without much increase in the contribution from the slow ion diffusion process. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.