Reducing Undesired Solubility of Squarephaneic Tetraimide for Use as an Organic Battery Electrode Material

Bowen Ding, Manik Bhosale, Troy Bennett, Martin Heeney, Felix Plasser, Birgit Esser, Florian Glöcklhofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Locally aromatic alkyl-N-substituted squarephaneic tetraimide (SqTI) conjugated macrocycles are four-electron reducible, owing to global aromaticity and presumed global Baird aromaticity of the dianion and tetraanion states, respectively. However, their good solubility inhibits their application as a battery electrode material. By applying sidechain removal as a strategy to reduce SqTI solubility, we report the development of its unsubstituted derivative SqTI-H, which was obtained directly from squarephaneic tetraanhydride by facile treatment with hexamethyldisilazane and MeOH. Compared to alkyl-N-substituted SqTI-Rs, SqTI-H exhibited further improved thermal stability and low neutral state solubility in most common organic solvents, owing to computationally demonstrated hydrogen-bonding capabilities emanating from each imide position on SqTI-H. Reversible solid state electrochemical reduction of SqTI-H to the globally aromatic dianion state was also observed at -1.25 V vs. Fc/Fc+, which could be further reduced in two stages. Preliminary testing of SqTI-H in composite electrodes for lithium-organic half cells uncovered imperfect cycling performance, which may be explained by persistent solubility of reduced states, necessitating further optimisation of electrode fabrication procedures to attain maximum performance.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFaraday Discussions
StatePublished - Aug 17 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-08-31
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), under project number J 4463. B.D. acknowledges funding via the President’s PhD Scholarship Scheme. This work contributes to the research performed at CELEST (Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm-Karlsruhe) and was partially funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under Project ID 390874152 (POLiS Cluster of Excellence, EXC 2154).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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