Novel thermocell based on cyclodextrin host–guest interactions.

Posted by

The use of thermoelectric materials was discovered by Thomas Johann Seebeck (as early as in 1821) for waste-heat recovery, refrigeration and other applications can aid considerably in global efforts toward energy conservation and the reduction of pollutants.

The parameters that affect the performance of thermoelectric materials permit an optimistic outlook for the possibility of obtaining high thermoelectric efficiency values with appropriately designed substances. Devices operating on the basis of thermoelectricity include sensors and instruments used in areospace and military applications.

Recently, a group of scientists working in Tokyo and Fukuoka, Japan reported on high efficacy cell based on iodide/triiodide redox reaction modulated by PEGylated α-cyclodextrin, which showed thermally induced complexing and release phenomena [1]. The CD host captures triiodide at the cold side of the thermocell. Meanwhile, at the higher temperature side, the dissociation of triiodide anion is promoted. PEG chains act as competitive (self-)complexing moieties. This composition resulted in a large concentration gap of electrochemically active triiodide−ions in between the electrodes.

The unique constitutional design of the cell and the related supramolecular mechanisms led to a construction model of a highly enhanced efficacy thermocell.


  1. High Positive Seebeck Coefficient of Aqueous I/I3– Thermocells Based on Host–Guest Interactions and LCST Behavior of PEGylated α-CyclodextrinYimin Liang, Joseph Ka-Ho Hui, Masa-aki Morikawa, Hirotaka Inoue, Teppei Yamada, and Nobuo KimizukaACS Applied Energy Materials 2021 4 (5), 5326-5331DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.1c00844

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.