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The Thermodynamics of Molecular Recognition


  1. Corinne L. D. Gibb,
  2. Bruce C. Gibb

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc005

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Gibb, C. L. D. and Gibb, B. C. 2012. The Thermodynamics of Molecular Recognition. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


In this review, we discuss the theoretical and practical aspects of determining the thermodynamic data for the formation of host–guests complexes. More specifically, we discuss the theory behind the free energy, enthalpy, entropy, and heat capacity changes in the formation of 1:1 complexes. We also discuss the mathematical modeling behind these determinations, and how this is tailored for the commonly utilized analytical techniques of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry, UV–vis spectroscopy, and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Finally, we highlight many of the important practical aspects of thermodynamic determinations using these techniques, highlighting their respective strengths and limitations. Although the focus is on 1:1 host–guest complex formation, higher order binding events are also briefly discussed.


  • thermodynamics;
  • molecular recognition;
  • NMR;
  • ITC;
  • UV–visible spectroscopy