The Role of H-bonding in Phase Change Materials

Phase change materials (PCMs) which melt in the temperature range of 100-230 °C, are a promising alternative for the storage of thermal energy. In this range, large amounts of energy available from solar-thermal, or other forms of renewable heat, can be stored and applied to domestic or industrial processes, or to an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) engine to generate electricity. The amount of energy absorbed is related to the latent heat of fusion (ΔHf) and is often connected to the extent of hydrogen bonding in the PCM. Herein, we report fundamental studies, including crystal structure and Hirshfeld surface analysis, of a family of guanidinium organic salts that exhibit high values of ΔHf, demonstrating that the presence and strength of H-bonds between ions plays a key role in this property.