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Magnetometric Characterization of Intermediates in the Solid-State Electrochemistry of Redox-Active Metal-Organic Frameworks

Published: June 9th, 2023



1Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, 2International Research Organization for Advanced Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 3Integrated Research Consortium on Chemical Sciences, Nagoya University

Ex situ magnetic surveys can directly provide bulk and local information on a magnetic electrode to reveal its charge storage mechanism step by step. Herein, electron spin resonance (ESR) and magnetic susceptibility are demonstrated to monitor the evaluation of paramagnetic species and their concentration in a redox-active metal-organic framework (MOF).

Electrochemical energy storage has been a widely discussed application of redox-active metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) in the past 5 years. Although MOFs show outstanding performance in terms of gravimetric or areal capacitance and cyclic stability, unfortunately their electrochemical mechanisms are not well understood in most cases. Traditional spectroscopic techniques, such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS), have only provided vague and qualitative information about valence changes of certain elements, and the mechanisms proposed based on such information are often highly disputable. In this article, we report a series of standardized methods, including the fabrication of solid-state electrochemical cells, electrochemistry measurements, the disassembly of cells, the collection of MOF electrochemical intermediates, and physical measurements of the intermediates under the protection of inert gases. By using these methods for quantitatively clarifying the electronic and spin state evolution within a single electrochemical step of redox-active MOFs, one can provide clear insight into the nature of electrochemical energy storage mechanisms not only for MOFs, but also for all other materials with strongly correlated electronic structures.

Since the term metal-organic framework (MOF) was introduced in the late 1990s, and especially in the 2010s, the most representative scientific concepts concerning MOFs have arisen from their structural porosity, including guest encapsulation, separation, catalytic properties, and molecule sensing1,2,3,4. Meanwhile, scientists were quick to realize that it is essential for MOFs to possess stimuli-responsive electronic properties in order to integrate them into modern smart devices. This idea triggered the spawning and flourishing of the condu....

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1. Electrode fabrication

  1. Synthesizing Cu-THQ MOF
    NOTE: Cu-THQ MOF polycrystalline powder was synthesized via a hydrothermal method following previously published procedures14,20,23.
    1. Put 60 mg of tetrahydroxyquinone into a 20 mL ampule, then add 10 mL of degassed water. In a separate glass vial, dissolve 110 mg of copper (II) nitrate trihydrate in another 10 mL of degassed .......

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Our previous work included a detailed discussion of ex situ ESR spectroscopy and ex situ magnetic susceptibility measurements for electrochemically cycled CuTHQ20. Here, we present the most representative and detailed results that can be obtained following the protocol described in this paper.

Figure 2

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To produce cathodes, it is necessary to mix the active material with conductive carbon to achieve a low polarization during the electrochemical process. The carbon additive is the first critical point for ex situ magnetometry; if the carbon has radical defects, the emergence of the electrochemically induced organic radical cannot be observed in the ESR spectrum. This makes it difficult to precisely determine the spin concentration or organic radical concentration, since these two types of radicals have similar g.......

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This study was supported by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grant (JP20H05621). Z. Zhang also thanks the Tatematsu Foundation and Toyota Riken scholarship for financial support.


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NameCompanyCatalog NumberComments
1-Methyl-2-pyrrolidoneFUJIFILM Wako Chemicals139-17611Super Dehydrated
1mol/L LiBF4 EC:DEC (1:1 v/v%)KishidaLBG-96533electrolyte
4-Hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxylFUJIFILM Wako Chemicals089-04191TEMPOL, for Spin Labeling 
Ampule tubeMaruemu Corporation5-124-0520mL
Carbon black, Super P ConductiveAlfa AesarH30253
Conductive Carbon BlackMitsubishi Chemical
Copper (II) Nitrate TrihydrateFUJIFILM Wako Chemicals033-12502deleterious substances
Dimethyl CarbonateFUJIFILM Wako Chemicals046-31935battery grade
EthylenediamineFUJIFILM Wako Chemicals053-00936deleterious substances
Graphene NanoplateletsTokyo Chemical IndustryG04426-8nm(thick), 15µm(wide)
Poly(vinylidene fluoride)Sigma Aldrich182702
Potassium BromideFUJIFILM Wako Chemicals165-17111for Infrared Spectrophotometry
Sodium Alginate FUJIFILM Wako Chemicals199-09961500-600 cP
SQUID MagnetometerQuantum DesignMPMS-XL 5
Tetrahydroxy-1,4-benzoquinone HydrateTokyo Chemical IndustryT1090

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