The concept of thermally-chargeable supercapacitor was discussed and validated experimentally. As two double-layer supercapacitor-type devices were placed at different temperatures and connected, due to the thermal dependence of surface charge structures, the electrode potentials became different, and thermal energy could be harvested and stored as electric energy. The important effect of ion concentration was investigated. The results were quite different from the prediction of conventional surface theory, which should be attributed to the unique behaviors of the ions confined in the nanoporous electrodes.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation
under Grant No. ECCS-1028010.