X-Shaped Oligomeric Pyromellitimide Polyradicals

Yilei Wu, Ji Min Han, Michael Hong, Matthew D. Krzyaniak, Anthea K. Blackburn, Isurika R. Fernando, Dennis D. Cao*, Michael R. Wasielewski, J. Fraser Stoddart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The synthesis of stable organic polyradicals is important for the development of magnetic materials. Herein we report the synthesis, isolation, and characterization of a series of X-shaped pyromellitimide (PI) oligomers (Xn-R, n = 2-4, R = Hex or Ph) linked together by single C-C bonds between their benzenoid cores. We hypothesize that these oligomers might form high-spin states in their reduced forms because of the nearly orthogonal conformations adopted by their PI units. 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies confirmed the isolation of the dimeric, trimeric, and tetrameric homologues. X-ray crystallography shows that X2-Ph crystallizes into a densely packed superstructure, despite the criss-crossed conformations adopted by the molecules. Electrochemical experiments, carried out on the oligomers Xn-Hex, reveal that the reductions of the PI units occur at multiple distinct potentials, highlighting the weak electronic coupling between the adjacent redox centers. Finally, the chemically generated radical anion and polyanion states, Xn-Hex•- and Xn-Hexn(•-), respectively, were probed extensively by UV-vis-NIR absorption, EPR, and electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopies. The ENDOR spectra of the radical monoanions Xn-Hex•- reveal that the unpaired electron is largely localized on a single PI unit. Further reductions of Xn-Hex•- yield EPR signals (in frozen solutions) that can be assigned to spin-spin interactions in X2-Hex2(•-), X3-Hex3(•-), and X4-Hex4(•-). Taken together, these findings demonstrate that directly linking the benzene rings of PIs with a single C-C bond is a viable method for generating stabilized high-spin organic anionic polyradicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-523
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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