Spray-Coated Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Composite Electrodes for Thermal Energy Scavenging Electrochemical Cells

Nicolas E. Holubowitch, James Landon, Cameron A. Lippert, John D. Craddock, Matthew C. Weisenberger, Kunlei Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Spray-coated multiwalled carbon nanotube/poly(vinylidene fluoride) (MWCNT/PVDF) composite electrodes, scCNTs, with varying CNT compositions (2 to 70 wt %) are presented for use in a simple thermal energy-scavenging cell (thermocell) based on the ferro/ferricyanide redox couple. Their utility for direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion is explored at various temperature differentials and cell orientations. Performance is compared to that of buckypaper, a 100% CNT sheet material used as a benchmark electrode in thermocell research. The 30 to 70 wt % scCNT composites give the highest power output by electrode area-seven times greater than buckypaper at ΔT = 50 °C. CNT utilization is drastically enhanced in our electrodes, reaching 1 W gCNT-1 compared to 0.036 W gCNT-1 for buckypaper. Superior performance of our spray-coated electrodes is attributed to both wettability with better use of a large portion of electrochemically active CNTs and minimization of ohmic and thermal contact resistances. Even composites with as low as 2 wt % CNTs are still competitive with prior art. The MWCNT/PVDF composites developed herein are inexpensive, scalable, and serve a general need for CNT electrode optimization in next-generation devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22159-22167
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 31 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • Seebeck coefficient
  • carbon nanotube
  • energy scavenging
  • spray-coating
  • thermoelectrochemical cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Spray-Coated Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Composite Electrodes for Thermal Energy Scavenging Electrochemical Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this